The Skinny – Amy Brunell

spinningplatesdetailEnough with the To-Do’s!

Our modern world is crazy. Totally f-ing crazy. We are expected to do and maintain so many undertakings, as if the constant spinning of plates model is some measure of what a successful person you are. Who cares that the quality of anyone’s life might be compromised with so many plates? Just keep spinning, will ya?

The internet doesn’t help. We keep comparing ourselves more than ever. We see what our neighbors and friends accomplish, (or “seem to” ) and we feel an internal gnawing that we aren’t enough, we aren’t doing enough, we don’t have enough.

A friend of mine pointed out to me the other day that we compare ourselves to CEO’s and wonder  – why they can conquer the world and we struggle to get dinner on the table? She noted that CEO’s have others to make the dinner and do the laundry. They have staff. Many of us don’t have much, if any,  help. We try to do the laundry and change the world. WOW! That’s a pretty amazing aspiration if you think about it!

My to-do list keeps getting bigger. Isn’t it funny how those things work? There should be some guidelines or rules on how to-do lists are supposed to work. For example there could be the rule that to-do lists can only have a limited number of items? They can only contain only one really hard item to do per day. Perhaps limit them to 5 items? How does 5 items seems? Possible? Doable?

Maybe only 3 tasks? Possible, doable?

Should there be a rule about the types of items that can be on the list? For example, only one thing on the list that causes emotional disruption. Like a difficult phone call or doing some paperwork you hate. You only have to do one of those items and the rest of the items are things like cooking delicious food to nourish your body. Or exercising. Or calling an old friend.

Admittedly, I haven’t researched the experts on the internet on the most effective way to manage to-do lists, but I do suffer from “never being/doing enough” issues so these ideas come from my own experiences.

Ask yourself: What would happen to me if on most days I completed my list?

Would you tell yourself that the list must be too easy (as if there is some rating scale and it can never be too easy or you aren’t a good person) and therefore the list must be longer and harder?
Would you simply add more to feel important?
Would you actually start to feel differently, as one who accomplishes items on the list?
Would you start to prioritize what needs to get done and what I “should” get done?
Would you stop avoiding the list in the first place?
Would you decide that anything I do is better than not doing anything at all?
Would you allow yourself with a sense of pride and accomplishment?
Would you get clearer on your goals, both long-term and short-term?

Take a moment and take a breath.

What comes to you as inspiration in this moment?

Today I have two phone calls to make. And I have one item to look up on the internet. They are 3 challenging things to do today. And they all really need to be done. However, let me start with one. Let me be happy with one. Then let me take a walk, take a nap, breathe some air, anything that nourishes me. Then I’ll decide about the others.

Laundry? Maybe not. But then again, maybe I’ll have the energy by acknowledging my completing a difficult task? The acknowledgement of a job completed feels awesome. You feel clarity and energized. Don’t add more to the list at this moment. Bask in the accomplishment.

Take a moment and feel that sense of “I am enough.”

The Actors' Gang

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