The Truth About Your To-Do List

overwhelmedDo you feel guilty as you drown in the daily details? Too much to do. Too many people wanting your time and energy. Being pulled in multiple directions. And wondering if there will ever be time to do what you want. Time management? It seems an impossible goal.

You try to set priorities, but they never seem to stick. Your to-do list grows by the day, but so few things ever get crossed off. Books go unread. Movies remain unwatched. Your computer’s in box overflows with unread email. And those friends you keep wanting to reconnect with? Forget about it.

You feel overwhelmed. You want to change. But where do you start?

I have news for you. No matter what you do, you will always have more choices about where to put your time and focus than you have time available. You will NEVER complete your to-do list.

Think about that. You will never be DONE! Now ask yourself one simple question – and realize that the answer to this question will make all the difference in your life.

How does it make you feel to know you will never finish all the things on your list?

You could feel a variety of ways: Confused, depressed, and hopeless… or free, elated and renewed. If you don’t like how you feel, are you willing to explore further?

When I realized that I would NEVER complete my to-do list, I felt confused. I have been on this earth for quite a few years. I have definitely been here long enough to work out the issue of TIME – how to manage it, prioritize it, make it work for me. How is it possible that I can’t manage to complete my tasks and make my life simple?

Then I had a blinding flash of the obvious. Who put the items on the list? I did. Who made them important? I did. Are there other things NOT on my list? Of course. So why do I put more things on the list than I can do?

As I sat with that question, an image came to my mind: a beautiful “All You Can Eat” banquet filled with sumptuous treats. Crisp and creative salads, roast beef, salmon, sushi, lamb kabobs, asparagus, French green beans, sweet potatoes, chocolate mousse, berry tarts, lemon meringue pie, butterscotch pudding. And of course, champagne and fine wines. Most anything I can think of is on the buffet, just waiting for me to choose.

Clearly, I cannot eat it all. Even an attempt to taste everything would leave me feeling bloated and not enjoying the experience. Just finding a place to start would overwhelm me. I have a choice. Do I walk outside and look for a hot dog stand instead? Do I insist that someone remove all but a few choices in the banquet?

My deepest desire is to taste and enjoy it all, yet I will be miserable if I try this route. Then the answer became clear. I could feel it in my very soul and celebrate.

Your life is about enjoying the banquet. The abundance of spirit brings you more variety than you can ever taste so you can experience free will. Even bitter choices bring you new experiences. And you may then long for the one thing not on the table: simplicity.

It’s all up to you, babe! You get to find the simplicity within yourself. The world is abundant and full of choice. Will you stop for one moment to enjoy the vast abundance that creates your busy-ness? If you can stop now, you may find yourself smiling and giggling as I did. You are getting it! Be grateful. Simplicity isn’t out there, isn’t it?

5 thoughts on “The Truth About Your To-Do List

  1. So True! I had to create a visual schedule of things to work towards everyday because with all the surprises of life, things just never get completely done.

    I think when you except thst it will not get all done you can be happier with your work.

    I have noticed that the days where I completed that days goals, I would just sit there and wonder what to do next. I felt lost. having a list that you will not complete everyday keeps us motivated.

    Very good article!

  2. Oh Carole — You hit it so right on! This issue is such a torment for me every day. Not only do I get “just a few” things done on my list– but I feel frustrated, angry, and upset with myself at yet another day of “so little accomplished”. (I’m putting these words into quotation marks because these are obviously judgments — by my own self.)
    Yes, I’ve intellectually known for years it’s totally NOT possible to get it all done — but somehow in this article you shone a new light on the topic — and I get it and feel relieved. Thank you!

    Now of course I must remember on a regular basis to allow myself to feel relief and a certain sense of “so what” — and NOT fall back into the old outworn “OMG, I didn’t accomplish enough again today!” This is a rather lengthy way of saying Thanks for this article and your veryapt buffet analogy. Great job!

  3. Thanks Ann – Acknowledging the spirit of abundance in our much too long To Do lists can lighten the load. Forgive and love yourself by choosing only the tasks you can “savor” each day. I hope you will join my call on Feb 12 to discuss the steps to “simplify” your life! http://SimpleSuccessSociety.com

    Carole

  4. Oh Carole — You hit it so right on! This issue is such a torment for me every day. Not only do I get “just a few” things done on my list– but I feel frustrated, angry, and upset with myself at yet another day of “so little accomplished”. (I’m putting these words into quotation marks because these are obviously judgments — by my own self.)
    Yes, I’ve intellectually known for years it’s totally NOT possible to get it all done — but somehow in this article you shone a new light on the topic — and I get it and feel relieved. Thank you!

    Now of course I must remember on a regular basis to allow myself to feel relief and a certain sense of “so what” — and NOT fall back into the old outworn “OMG, I didn’t accomplish enough again today!” This is a rather lengthy way of saying Thanks for this article and your veryapt buffet analogy. Great job!

  5. So True! I had to create a visual schedule of things to work towards everyday because with all the surprises of life, things just never get completely done.

    I think when you except thst it will not get all done you can be happier with your work.

    I have noticed that the days where I completed that days goals, I would just sit there and wonder what to do next. I felt lost. having a list that you will not complete everyday keeps us motivated.

    Very good article!

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