The other week I was talking to my counselor about my to-do list and how miserable it was making me.
I told him that my list felt like it was never-ending, and I felt a lot of pressure because it seemed like people were waiting on me to do a lot of things. I felt like I couldn’t catch up, and that I was never going to get true down time. I would take time to relax, but in the back of my mind there were these nagging thoughts of what I ‘should’ be doing instead.
And my counselor brought up an interesting point. What if I thought of my to-do list in terms of what I get to do instead of what I have to do?
A lot (if not all) of the things on my to-do list are things I’m choosing to do, so why am I resentful of them?
This little mental shift has changed the way I view my tasks. I’m allowing myself to realize that I actually want to be spending my time working on certain activities, and if I don’t want to do something, I just don’t do it. Or if I’m dreading a task that has to get done (folding laundry!) then I listen to a fun podcast or watch a trashy reality TV show while doing it, so that it’s more enjoyable. I’m able to constantly remind myself that I’m not doing things because I need to, I’m doing things because I want to.
It’s not fun feeling like I’m living my life by constantly trying to check things off a list of tasks, but it is pretty great feeling like I’m spending my days devoting time to things I care about.
See the difference?
Don’t let your to-do list rule you, instead, remind yourself of what you want to do and why, and then do those things. You’ll probably end up finishing the same tasks, but with a different attitude.