I had my final catch up with my therapist yesterday and she made me realise something massively important – my obsession with to-do lists could be hindering me rather than actually helping me!
I couldn’t believe it either. To-Do lists are a lot of people’s method of organisation to get through their days, so how could it be making my day harder rather than being the aid I was using it for?!
Here’s an example of a to-do list I would make on any random day (no particular order):
- Do the dishes
- One load of laundry
- Make dinner on time
Simple. How could something so clear and short be holding me back and leaving me feeling frustrated, disappointed and lacking?
The answer is because it doesn’t account for the rest of my day/life – all the things we have to do but haven’t added on to the to-do list:
- Get kids up, fed, dressed and dropped off at school/nursery
- Get myself dressed in clean clothes that are acceptable to wear in public
- Eat at least twice today
- Make breakfast, lunch, dinner for kids, Mister Me and self – this includes prep, cooking and serving… plus supervising at times. On time.
- Pick up Mini Me 2 from nursery
- Pick up Mini Me 1 from school with Mini Me 2
- Make time for some self-care
- Go to the gym
- Stop Mini’s from bickering/fighting 500 times before bed
- Find time and energy for sex
- Do the dishes
- Do one load of laundry
That’s reality. Our to-do list’s rarely factor in EVERYTHING we have to do, which at times has left me feeling like I’m not doing enough, I’m not good enough or just plain frustrated because why can’t I get 4 simple tasks done. Until you see the real list of things to be done and realise that we are all doing a hell of a lot more than we even realise most of the time.
So how do we fix this?
Someone on Twitter gave me this advice which is actually really encouraging: add things you have already done to your to-do list.
For example, if you have four things on your to-do list but you’ve just cleaned the car – add it to your to-do list as completed. Washed the dog? Add it. Got kids to school on time? Add it. And so forth. You will soon start to see you’ve done a lot more than you realised, even if it isn’t all of the 4 things you wanted to do.
Lastly, remember: there’s always tomorrow. There’s more important thing’s in life than the short-lasting end result… enjoy the journey. And if you find yourself getting stressed over it – do something good for you instead.