Are you the type of person who will only do something if it’s perfect? Or do you like things done a certain way and won’t let anyone else do it? Does your to do list end up being way longer than those around you, so you get resentful because others’ are not pulling their weight?
This happens to the best of us, including me. I know for myself, becoming a professional organizer meant upping the anti with my time management and physical organization. Sometimes this high level organization creates a disconnect with the people in my life and it’s important for me to let go and not always have things perfect. I’ve learned to reflect, let go and find more balanced ways to focus my time and energy, especially when spending time with others.
How Did the To Do List Get So Long?
Another factor that can create an overloaded to-do list, ironically, is comparing ourselves to others. Our culture is ingrained in this comparison game where we have multiple platforms that give way to putting up the best of ourselves while hiding the reality of life, especially when things are more challenging. Being sure not to compare can help alleviate the need to do everything perfect or even to do things that aren’t important to you.
These platforms also create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) where just staying home and relaxing seems silly when there are so many amazing things happening out there. This means putting self care and life organization on the back burner, and then that to do list just gets longer. Being selective and intentional on how you spend your time can help you stay connected to your values and shed that old feeling of FOMO.
How to Shift Your To Do Distractions
In general, it is helpful to be more flexible and let go of doing things a certain way all the time. This will allow you to outsource more and focus on what you are best at, what you enjoy doing and what’s most important to you.
Going through a process can bring you to a place where you can also look at not trying to control everything, which is HUGE, because not only will it free up your schedule it will also reduce your stress levels. It’s not possible to predict or control life and giving space to allow things to happen, while balancing taking action, can be tricky. This takes time and support; the rewards are worth it.
As always, the first step is to sit down, reflect and see what you life intentions are:
What lifestyle suits you best?
How do you enjoy spending your free time?
What takes up most of your time?
What are your life intentions?
Look at the different areas of your life and see which three you would like to focus on first ie. career, health, spirituality. Then be specific on what you would like to work on in those three areas. Be sure that you get clear on goals and let go of what’s not serving you. Less is more, when you try to do too much, nothing gets done well.
Now it’s time to make a plan and minimize the clutter getting in the way. This can be everything from digital distractions (check out last month’s blog) to saying no and setting boundaries (check out these blogs).
Organize + Design
Once you’ve eliminated what’s getting in the way, make time for each item you want to focus on. This means creating a weekly and daily schedule to help you be accountable. Most importantly, be sure to have flex time so that you can account for life happening and stay away from getting too rigid.
Making sure you set boundaries around your time is important so that you can keep up with your focus and intentions, plus avoid burning out.
This part of the process also means addressing the habits that you need to establish, so that you can stay focused AND make sure you are spending time on the three areas.
Often people feel that self care is at the bottom of the list. Yet, if we are not at our best, our ability to function, cope and thrive is weakened. What changes can you implement to ensure you have a daily self care routine?