As a recovering Type-A overachiever, I used to be a To Do list lover. I kept lists on paper, electronic devices, the refrigerator, the back of every receipt in my wallet.
I compiled master To Do lists of my to-do lists until the list was longer than Rapunzel’s hair and just as unmanageable.
Can you imagine trying to comb–let alone style!– seven stories of hair? NO. But that is exactly what I was perpetually trying to do with my lists: tame an impossible mess.
Perhaps my impossible lists had a little something to do with the whole spectacular crash-and-burnout followed by depression that could have killed me? Maybe?
For a long time I quit lists. I had to. Doctor’s orders. Which was okay, because the only To Do item would have been STAY ALIVE TODAY (which is pretty easy to remember–except when you don’t want to stay alive).
Since I have now mastered staying alive (thank you, Godiverse, doctors, therapists, support system!) and am back to living again, I realized I need some kind of list because life has adult stuff that needs done, and my brain doesn’t remember all of it.
But no way, no how was I going back to the old way, so I found a new one–and ditched my to-do list. Permantly.
Behold my “To FEEL List”:
Above the line of hearts are the things that need done today. Notice there are NOT 300 items! Not 50! Not 25! FIVE. I can do five things.
Much more important than the task is after the dashes. It is the WHY behind the task. What do I want to FEEL when I do these tasks? Why bother?
I want to feel…
Helpful (it’s Trent’s drycleaning)
Nourished (gotta eat well to live well)
Strong (it is quite a workout)
Organized (helps with everything, yes?)
Clearsighted (need new glasses so I don’t run over a small animal while driving,etc.).
The emphasis now on the WHY behind the stuff, not the stuff itself.
Below the line of hearts are “not-today but important” things–again, with the TO FEEL behind the dashes.
This has changed my life, people!
Not only can I remember and do stuff, but I remember WHY I’m doing stuff in the first place.
For example, if something ended up on my list like “bake cookies for xyz” and my WHY was “to not feel guilty”…that sh** would have to go. No need to do anything for which there is not a darn good to-feel reason.
I hope this helps anyone out there drowning in a list of undoable to-dos…
Ditch your To Dos, find your To Feels, and you will feel bunches of better. PROMISE.