How to Take Back Your Life from Your To-Do List

26 Oct

HustleBeing emotionally healthy while in 100% Hustle Mode

If you’re like me and tons of other millennials, you work hard. You have a main job, a side hustle, and maybe you’re still in school to advance your career. You refuse to live like many adults you know, who’ve hated their jobs their whole lives. One day—soon—you will turn your side hustle into your main career.

Because of this, and a few other factors in your life (kids, family members to take care of, etc.) your to-do list seems infinite and you never seem to have enough hours in the day.

Like you, I work hard—so hard that I often sacrifice my emotional and physical health to check things of my to-do lists. Last week, when I got into a car accident and I was freaking out about all of the things I had to add to my to-do list because of the accident, I knew I had a problem.

Constant busyness is not healthy. It skews our reality, making simple tasks seem more important than they are, which can cause rushing, anxiety, feelings of powerlessness and many unhealthy habits.

I needed to take my life back from my to-do lists before I completely lost my mind. Here are the 4 ways I’m doing it:

Avoiding conscious busyness

For as long as I can remember, I have lived by the principle that your consciousness determines your outcome— that your thinking determines your life experiences. This is why I am generally an optimistic person who tries to think positively so that I can experience positive outcomes. Usually, I find this to be successful.

Somehow, I forgot to apply that idea about consciousness to my grinding life. If I believe that I create the life I experience with my thoughts, then if I am constantly worrying about how busy I am, I will be perpetually busy. Conscious busyness leads to constant busyness. I have been living this cycle for the past 4 years, and I’m so over it.

A few days ago, I decided I would no longer use “busy” to describe myself. Also, I would no longer act like a busy person, meaning I stopped rushing, stopped driving fast, and decided to cook myself breakfast (can you believe I hadn’t cooked breakfast for myself in over a year because I always felt like I had more important things to do?!). In those few days, I’ve felt a more relaxed. I’m not stressing over small tasks. I go with the flow a little bit more.

Busyness is a choice—it shouldn’t be a lifestyle.

Slowing down

Sometimes I have to remind myself that everything is not an emergency. Rushing only adds to the feelings of stress and anxiety.

Renowned writer Annie Dillard said in one of her books, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” And though I’ve been doing it for years, I refuse to spend my entire life rushing around like a crazy person all of the time.

Lightening up my list

Choose wisely what goes on your daily to-do list. Like I said, not everything is an emergency. If I choose 3-5 more important things to do daily rather than 10 smaller things, I’ll feel like I can get a grip on your life. I still get the most important things done without feeling overwhelmed by the un-accomplishable lists I usually create.

 Enjoying being vs. doing

Often times, I have to remind myself to “enjoy the journey.” Though I have a list of things I want to check off, I try to do them consciously. When I sit down at the table, I put my phone out of arms reach so that I can truly enjoy my meal without the distractions. Sometimes, taking my time to do each task correctly and enjoying what I’m doing is more fulfilling than checking everything off of my list.

I constantly have to remind myself:
You have to decide what’s more important: your to-do list or your mental wellness.

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2 Responses to “How to Take Back Your Life from Your To-Do List”

  1. Iris Kirkland November 12, 2015 at 7:45 AM #

    I am To-Do fanatic. I just wrote a long list that only in my dreams I could finish today. Knowing this I even said a prayer about getting things done. Yeah I probably have problem and just don’t know it yet. However, the one thing I am looking forward to is the day where I just get things done and not worry about what’s not done.

    Like

  2. Run Wright October 27, 2015 at 4:36 AM #

    Great plan of attack. I like that statement- busyness is a choice – because it really is a decision that we make. We choose our lives by what we accept and allow into our lives. We can make a different choice at any time.
    Check out my post here too. http://runwright.net/2015/10/26/dream-and-do/

    Like

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