I recently signed up for National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) through BlogHer, a media company specialized in blogging and social media. Basically all this means is that I have to publish a blog post everyday throughout the month of October, except Saturday’s and Sunday’s. The theme this month is simply: FALL. I have no idea what blogging every day will be like, but I do know that every single time I write, I learn something new. I’m excited to see what it will be this month. Now come on everybody, FALLow along with me!
Ever feel like you’ll never cross off everything on your to-do list? Ever feel like every time you cross one item off your to-do list you add five more?
If you are at all like me, you probably answered “no” to the first question and “yes” to the second one. I have a particularly hard time with the second one, because I love being able to cross something off of my to-do list. Not just a to-do list in my head either. I’m talking with a pencil on paper or with the delete key on a stickies note. I have to physically be able to cross it off and watch it disappear. The problem I’m having lately is I keep adding projects and commitments to an already full and falling behind existing to-do list.
In the past, Jan has helped me with this problem and continues to remind me when I’m on overdrive, “You don’t have to dance at every wedding.”
Nonetheless in a world that moves faster everyday, I feel the challenges in staying caught up with all the exciting possibilities and opportunities life throws at you. I enjoy myself as a wife, a mother, a member of a community, a writer, etc, but lately I feel as if I’m falling behind. I feel the challenges of constantly putting my children ahead of myself, but knowing that I cannot let my own embers burn out. I feel frustration toward items on my list like calling the cable company about a bill or rescheduling that long-overdue dentist appointment or cleaning smudge off the kitchen walls. When I get to these items, I only want to retreat farther into my own mind and save those not-so-exciting to-dos for another day.
I wonder, is this a state of mind or do other Mom’s feel it, too? Is it is personality type? When I ask myself what is most important, the answer is easy and simple and always the same. Yet I still stress out over my pesky to-do list of creative, and in the long-run, probably unimportant projects or books to read.
(Sidebar: Writing this post is starting to feel like a Carrie Bradshaw depth-of-thought type post, but instead of writing for Vogue I’m writing for a family blog. Instead of trying to fit in cocktail parties, cosmos, Manolo’s, and dates with Mr. Big, I’m trying to update baby books, mail pictures of the kids to family, organize children wardrobes, cook supper, and keep the dog hair vacuumed off the floor.)
Going forward I’d like to find a way to stop adding items to my list, or at least more items than I know I am capable of completing. With the holidays looming, that will be a piece of cake, right? Wrong. Now is the time to get caught up on to-dos. I like completeness and seeing things through from start to finish. At any given time I can have a few unfinished projects or to-dos floating around on my list, but too many makes my mind cluttered.
In order to put a stop to my endless to-do list and get caught up, I’m sharing a list (of course, it’s a condition I have) of seven things, I, and all women can do who might be struggling from this predicament:
1. Ask yourself what is most important?
2. Ask yourself what can wait?
3. Ask yourself what shouldn’t even be on your list to begin with? Then cross items off immediately; take them off your plate.
4. Set a realistic daily goal. Tackle two to three items and free yourself from the other items until the next day when you set a new daily goal.
5. Give yourself deadlines.
6. Establish a number of items on your list that feels comfortable for you. Don’t go over that limit until you’ve crossed something else off.
7. Reward yourself!
I hope you find this list helpful, or at the very least a good reminder of ways to combat letting the little things get in the way of the big things. I’m really going to try to hold myself accountable and learn to manage a to-do list that works for me.
Now I’m curious, how do you juggle or view all of the to-dos in your life? How will you keep from falling even more behind this fall?
The Banter Lady
To read yesterday’s post click here: Monday funnies