Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why I'm Thinking About Burning My To-Do List

Lately, I've been feeling very impatient. It's as if I've forgotten how to relax. Even when I'm supposed to be relaxing, my mind is going going going going. I try to breathe, stretch and meditate and my mind still relentlessly runs through list after list of things I need to do.  When I do forget something or I fall behind on tasks, it bothers me way too much.  Sometimes it even bothers me when I see my family relaxing because I think they should be busy busy busy like me!  I realize that somehow, some way I've got to get my chill back. Right now, I literally feel like a puppy chasing his tail around and around exhausting myself and not accomplishing anything.

I've always been a list-maker and it gives me so much satisfaction to check things off.  However, my lists are unreasonable if not outrageous and they're simply not effective these days.  I'm going to try Leo Babauta's One Thing System which essentially means that I will choose One Thing each day that I'm excited about and will get done no matter what.  Sure, I'll still keep my master list(s), but I will choose One Thing from it each day.  If I finish that One Thing and still have the desire to do more, then I will.  If not, I will relax and be content knowing that I got that One Thing done.   We'll see how this works out.

I hunted down the following excerpts to remind me of the importance of relaxation and patience:

"We cannot rush our victory; we cannot cut short our pains. Everything happens when it needs to happen; everyone is always where they need to be. You will never miss out on what is meant for you, even if it has to come to you in a roundabout way. When we relax and follow our inner guidance, everything that we should have is all that we get. When we rush around trying to make it, disappointment may be all we get."
~author unknown
"Patience is a virtue many do not possess. We have very little difficulty identifying what we want and need. The difficulty comes in waiting for it to manifest. We become doubtful, even fearful when we don't see our good coming as quickly as we think it should. Sometimes we even allow ourselves to believe someone or something can hold us back or stop our good from coming. We worry, we complain and sometimes we give up hope. We cannot see how we get in our own way. We forget about universal timing and divine order. We may not realize how our negative thoughts, doubts and fears uproot the positive seeds we plant. We just don't understand that we would not have the desire unless the supply were ready to come forward."
~author unknown
"Most of us do not work because we want to; we work because we think we have to work for money. The problem is that is all we do. We forget that life is more than work. Life is also about balance. In order to have balance, we must do more than work. What about fun? We need fun to keep our minds off work. How about rest? Not just sleeping to get ready for the next days work, but resting the body and mind from all activity. What about solitude? Take an hour or perhaps a day away from the hustle and bustle of life and people. It's called a mental health break. Let us not forget the mind. Education. It helps to keep the gray matter upstairs from getting dusty. Work is necessary but it is not the only thing required to get ahead. All work and no play may give us a balanced checkbook, but it can also give us an unbalanced mind."
~author unknown
Do you have any quotes, scriptures or affirmations about patience and serenity? I could sure use them right now. How do you stay mindful in the midst of your busy, active life? Please share in the comments.


Felicia said...

Right on always!

Kimberly Nicole said...

I'm with you GG. I've always been an obsessive list maker (in part because of my OCD and anxiety), and learning to let go has been a struggle.

I'd never heard of the "master one thing" strategy, but that makes perfect sense to me. Multitasking is a myth. We don't function at our best when we try to do it.

Good luck on your journey.

Kim Jackson said...

Singing my life with your words.

I have a quote that isn't specifically about patience, but it is a reminder that everything is going to work out in our favor despite how daunting things may seem in the moment. "If I can get happy right now, in spite of any problems, challenges, and circumstances that now seem to taunt me, the Universe will take care of those problems, challenges and circumstances, as well as 'ever after'".

♥ CG ♥ said...

Hey GG! I'll have to read Leo's post again, I need this in my life too. I get so overwhelmed by thoughts and plans at times that I shut down. Not good at all.

Anonymous said...

GG you HAVE HAVE HAVE to read the book "7 habits of highly effective people". I'm not one for "self help" books because most of it is propaganda nonsense, but this is really amazing. One thing, that you kind of touched on is put first things first. Stephen Covey (the author) says: “the things which matter most must never be at the mercy of the things which matter least”. The last thing is sharpen the saw...if you don't take care of your tools (you) all the work you're doing is taking more energy than it should. YOU first.

Jael said...

This post came at a much needed time. Thanks ! I'm a list maker and reminder setter. I tend to get overwhelmed by the numerous tasks. I yearn for more time to just "BE" and relax. I will def. read Leo's post. When I'm stressing I pray for strength and guidance, realizing that God is in control and that things will work out just as they should be.

dajewel1982 said...

this is a great post, per usual GG!!!

actually, i have never been a list person because i tend to procrastinate and just shut off when i see a list a mile long. instead, i have been the type that likes to 'move mountains by moving bits of sand one at a time'; essentially aiming to complete one small task a day which will eventually lead into completing the bigger task at hand. other sayings i tell myself on the daily is 'a man must crawl before he walks,"Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still. -Chinese Proverbs" and "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." - Lao Tzu' i tell myself these quotes on the daily to remind me to always keep going, even if it means i have to slow down and take baby steps.

Riley Harrison said...

Well I have a different take on the use of to do lists. Part of my morning routine is reading and journaling (and drinking coffee of course)and whenever something I need to do pops into my mind I write it down. It isn't that I feel morally obligated to do the task, it's that once written down it's out of my mind and I can read of write without constantly thinking about it. I might or might not get around to doing it.

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