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What to do When You Feel Like You're Drowning

09 February 2018
Sayonara To-Do List!

To-do lists have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I made them in school to break assignments into chunks. I've used them at work to keep track of tasks. I've used them at home to remind myself to pay bills or complete the dreaded chore of cleaning the bathroom. 

Every night I would sit down and list out everything for the next day and I thought that this was making me more productive. I thought that these lists were keeping me sane and on top of things, but this year I have realized just how wrong I have been. 

Shortly after Gigi was born I found myself feeling overwhelmed. What a surprise, right? I had these ridiculous daily to-do lists and, sure enough, every night there would be multiple items on said list that were not checked off.

Instead of feeling a sense of accomplishment for all those little check-marks, all I could see were those things I hadn't checked off. I went to bed feeling like I was failing at my own life and the cycle continued.

During a late-night feeding session I realized that I needed a shift in my thinking.  My to-do lists were making me miserable. Maybe I should try just writing down what I accomplished during the day and recognize those little victories. So I did.

For the past year I have been writing down all of the things, both big and small, that I managed to accomplish during the day.

I'm realizing that I didn't actually need that physical to-do list to keep track of what needed to be done. I just needed to pay attention and be present in my life as it was happening. 

At the end of the week I take a moment to acknowledge myself and all that I managed to do. I'm happy to report that my house is somewhat clean, my kids are fed, and my world hasn't fallen apart.

I'm actually much less stressed out and so much more happy, so I hereby give you permission to tear up that to-do list and start a daily accomplished list instead.

When you're already feeling overwhelmed to-do lists can intensify that feeling and can make you feel like a failure. This simple change in how you approach lists will make you realize that you are a champion on those hard days.

2 comments on "What to do When You Feel Like You're Drowning"
  1. Ohh I love this idea!! I know exactly what you mean. I know that I'm not going to forget to do the things on my to-do list but I feel compelled to write them and re-write them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you try it out and that it helps you!

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