How many of us start the week with a To Do list? How many of us actually get time to complete the things on our to do list? Do you have the list in your head, or is it written down? When you complete a task do you take great pleasure in scoring it off your list? I know I do.
I write a couple of to do lists one for work and one for home, although the work one is updated daily as priorities change, I find without one, I’m lost as my head wouldn’t be able to store all the tasks I have to do. My home list isn’t really a constant list, it’s just if I find I have a lot to do then I’ll write it down, but this has to be out of the ordinary really, as most things are the usual everyday items such as washing, tidying, etc. I mainly write it all down if i’m going away or have people coming to stay so I know what I want to achieve beforehand.
To do lists are great, they can help you plan and manage your day, you know what you have to do and hopefully you have enough time to complete it. Many tasks can roll over to the following day and if you keep on top of it, you aren’t left wondering what you still have to finish.
To do lists can be used for anything, whether you are planning what to do on a holiday or you are redoing a room, then a list of actions to be taken or what you want to see can make sure nothing is missed or forgotten.
To do lists can also come with pressure, the more things on your list, the more time you have to spend completing the tasks and sometimes the list just never gets any smaller and the window of time we give ourselves to complete just isn’t long enough, thereby putting more pressure on us and before you know it, you’re adding more to your list than you are scoring off. Anyone else exhausted?
A ‘To Don’t’ list could be just what’s needed. What? I’m not saying you write ‘Don’t put the bins out’! No, this is a list of things for you not to do or to stop doing. These can be things that really don’t support you in your life. It can help you cut out some pressure points.
Here are some ideas to put on your ‘To Don’t list’:
- Don’t say yes to everything – In a work situation, this may be unavoidable you may have to say yes to things you don’t want to do, but hopefully you are able to say no at times as well. In your personal life it can be harder to say no because you don’t want to let people down but could you say ‘not now’ instead? Free some time for you and revisit when you have more time. Friends will understand if you can’t do something or don’t say yes straightaway. If you don’t want to do something, then be honest, your time is as important as everyone else’s and you should spend time on the things you do love!
- Don’t feel guilty – so you’ve said no to things and then feel guilty for it. You are feeling guilty because you put you first, your wants, your needs. There is nothing wrong with this. Or what about having to work and missing your child’s play or award ceremony. Let it go, this can be hard as you feel you should be there, but sometimes work does get in the way of important events and this just can’t be helped. Or do you like to have lazy weekends where you don’t move from the sofa, but then feel guilty as you should be doing some housework? Then don’t.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff – who cares if you haven’t vacuumed for a week or your kids toys are all over the place. These things are not vital to living a happy life. Don’t waste time worrying about things that are not important in the grand scheme of things.
- Stop piling on the pressure – you write your to do list, you keep adding to it and until the items are ticked or scored off the list, you feel the pressure to do everything and fulfil it. But really, if you have to write too many things on it without them naturally being completed, then are they something you really want to achieve or something you feel you have to do?
These are just a snippet of things you could put on your list, and one of the benefits of a ‘To Don’t list’ is there is no need to tick off and say complete, as you just continually try to do them.
I love a to do list, and I always feel great when I can look over the list and tick off what has been achieved that day/week. But having a don’t do list changes things, it’s a reminder to not be so hard on myself and to be kind to me.
Have a great week, get writing your ‘To Don’t List’ and see how it goes.
Take care, look after you and stay safe.
Emma xxx 😃