If you live by your to-do list, you're probably overwhelmed. Do this instead.Apr 28, 2022
I’ve been hearing a lot lately from women who are overwhelmed by their to-do list; that it never ends. They feel like to-do machines, stuck and completely unfulfilled. The urgent items get crossed off, some unintended ones get added after-the-fact for the pleasure of crossing them off, and the dream intentions almost never get crossed off. What gets done day after day are the most urgent rather than the most important items, which is why they wake up dreading the day.
Use your calendar instead. And color-code it.
- Morning meditation is GOLD because it starts your day off right, focused and attuned to your soul.
- Your non-work, personal fulfillment & nourishment activities are BLUE.
- Work that connects you directly to the outside world, and invites them directly to you, is GREEN.
- Errands, chores, and activities you can delegate (or were delegated to you) are RED.
It sharpens your discernment
Not only does calendaring cause you to think in color (read: sharpen your discernment), you actually have to schedule what you say YES to so you can put it in your calendar. Totally different from adding things to your to-do list.
And when you look at your schedule, your body will have something to say about it. Pay attention: you’ll feel weaker, or light and energetic, or somewhere in between. You’ll get good at what your YESs and NOs are very quickly, and you'll forge a stronger connection to your internal navigation system. The more you honor it, the more you’ll trust yourself to do right by you.
Promise me this: if you feel more dread than excitement about your day(s) ahead, don’t beat yourself up or tell yourself your life stinks. Your soul is telling you to make some shifts, not to make up stories. Your communication lines between you (who tries so hard to do good) and your soul (who really wants you to stop trying so hard so you can do better) are working, and this is a good thing. Some things on your schedule might take longer to adjust than others, but this measurable visual (the calendar) elicits visceral reactions from your body that will prompt change to happen faster than your to-do list. Because scheduling is powerful.
You gain clarity fast
You’ll gain clarity around how much time you really have, how you’re spending it, and why your energy level is where it’s at. It will become a lot easier to practice healthy boundaries; to say NO to things that keep you spinning, and to make space for what moves you forward and makes you happy (on a to-do list, they seem like luxuries for people who have time).
Put everything on your calendar.
When you don't, you take on more than you realize. And, people understand busy calendars when you have to say NO. And so do you. To-do lists aren’t treated with the same respect because everyone has one, and activities on a to-do list often “cut in line” based on urgency and mood, not importance. Not only do they know that; you know that. When things are scheduled, they’re real. By calendaring, you’re telling yourself and everyone else that things in your life are important enough to take time to schedule. Which makes it easier to say NO to the stuff that clogs up your day, zaps your energy, and holds you back from living the life that you love.