Feeling weighed down? Get light. Here’s how to take the weight off.

Nov 03, 2022
woman at desk with neck pain

Photo by Keenan Constance on Unsplash

 

Your to-do list is a portable scale that registers the weight you carry wherever you go. The more you add to it, the heavier it gets. 
To put something on just to cross it off is like gaining a pound just to take it off, and you’re right back where you started. That moment of pleasure crossing an item off simply doesn’t outweigh the bane of a to-do list that’s blind to your joy and keeps quality of life essentially the same year after year.  

The to-do list creates a lot more psychic weight and exhaustion than you think. It bogs down your energy and keeps you turning tricks - using hacks to get through the day: caffeine, drugs, junk food, and other soft and hard addictions - as you stress over the things you need to get done or hide from. If you’re a parent, you’re also a driver, cook, bleacher fan, timekeeper, dog walker, complaint department, and housekeeper, and as much as you love your family, all of it combined sucks you dry. 

You’re too overwhelmed to get clear on what you really want and how to achieve it. What you can do to experience wholeness and joy is always put on hold. 

The key to vitality and joy is NOT TO DELAY. 

Stop putting things on your to-do list and pay attention to your needs. Here are the real life hacks:

 

1. Take off what’s currently on your to-do list

  • Decide it’s important enough, do it now, and take it off your to do list.
  • Decide it’s important enough, and if it’s more involved and you can’t do it now, schedule every part of it on your calendar and take it off your to do list.
  • Decide it’s not important, don’t do it or delegate it, and take it off your to do list.

2. Avoid adding more to your to-do list 

  • Make this a game. Be willful and courageous. 
  • Be satisfied with doing rather than writing things down to cross off at an undetermined time in the future (by doing the latter, you’re further affirming the to-do list quality of life. 
  • If it’s important enough, put it on your calendar. This is so different from a to-do list. It’s scheduled for you to show up for it the way you show up for meetings, first dates, interviews, doctor’s appointments, and flight schedules. If it’s so trivial that it belongs on a to-do list and not your calendar, then maybe consider that it’s not worth the added weight and anxiety it brings to your life.  


3. Pay attention to your needs the way you want attention from a lover

  • Crush the “after my kids get better," "after the wedding is over," "after my project deadline," "after the holidays” trap. There’s no such time as after. Take control now. 
  • Start now. You have time. The question isn’t time. It’s about how important it is to you and whether you’re willing to carve out 20 minutes out of 16-hours of awake time per day for your happiness. Don’t add this to your to-do list. Add it to your calendar now and set it up as daily + recurring (color it GOLD)

     

Starting these 3 practices now as you step into the holiday season will be a game changer, I promise. 

Kids take time off from school, vacations happen, celebrations and the stress of family gatherings (or no family gatherings) tends to either overwhelm or create the kind of excitement that when it’s over there’s a crash. 

Consider giving yourself an early holiday gift and put the three things into practice now. You'll thank yourself for it. You’ll be anchored, not put on hold by the person that counts the most (YOU), and while the buzz of the holidays is happening, this will add an extraordinary sort of normalcy into your day to day that instills vitality and joy.  


Love, Savitree

P.S. Here’s a free resource on how to Calendar. It’s not just a productivity tool. It gives you a visual and methodology to tap into your soul - your body's intelligence - to make clearer, happier, more heart-aligned decisions. 

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(much like this blog post!)