Recently, I started a list of things that need done around the house and yard, the length of which made me gasp. Our home is 21 years old. Many, many things need done. There are little items like painting and big ones like bathroom floors and kitchen/bath updates. Our heat pump is original, for which our HVAC man is mostly responsible, he is proud to say. Hoping we don’t have to put this one on the list, too! #homeredo
After I was finished, I felt like doing NONE OF IT!
Have you ever looked at a project or a list of stuff to do and been frozen in place by its length and the work involved? Size can paralyze – like staring into an F4 tornado! This is why we need strategies to tackle the big things.
The first step is to ask yourself if the item should even be on the list. Often, we add things to our lists because we think they need to be there. They might come from other people’s expectations, our need to live up to unrealistic ideals, or stuff that we would like but simply cannot do at the moment. #getreal
On my home list are things that I would love to do because I wish my home looked like Chip and JoJo just left after a re-do. But truthfully, I do not have the money or the time. What can you drop from your list? Simply shrinking our lists can give us breathing room and space to accomplish more realistic things.
Another strategy is to tackle the list by setting priorities. #prioritize I know. You’ve heard this before. Because it’s the best approach!
What is most urgent? What is most important? Are the urgent items all that important? Answering these honestly helps us do what matters most or tackle the next best step toward an ultimate goal. If we do this, those urgent items will be fewer, and we can have the satisfaction of accomplishing the important things. #donotsacrificetheimportantfortheurgent
If your to-do list comes from a life goal of some sort, break it down into manageable parts. For example, if you want to declutter your home of 30 years and simplify around your home, target one space a month. If you want to finish that degree, see the entire thing as a project with many steps, focusing only on the next thing. That may simply be doing the research where to get the education. It is a start and a step forward. #stepintomore
When your list has things on it that you just hate doing – say painting or mulching or dusting – can you hire someone? Or turn it into a group effort with friends or family and make it a party? If you cannot, then you must put on your Mary Poppins hat, find an element of fun, grin and just do it. #suckitup I have found that completing a thing I do not like to do gives me a greater sense of actually accomplishing something! It was hard and I did it!
All the strategies in the world do not always translate into ticking things off your list. Life happens. You work hard all day and are tired. You have 3 busy kids. You are caring for aging parents. My final strategy is my favorite one, because it lifts burdens and helps me enjoy life no matter what the schedule is.
Let whatever you do today be enough.
If you are doing your level best to live well, then the undone list is secondary. Like my beloved turtle #beaturtle, you can move with purpose, however slowly, knowing what you have done today was your best effort. The sun will come up tomorrow on another shot at living well. As the artist Pablo Picasso is quoted as saying –
Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
If you do that, you are getting it done.