By Cait Johnson, Assistant Producer, Care2 Healthy Living Channels.
Do you ever find yourself so paralyzed by the impossibility of getting everything done that you don‘t do some of the essentials? It’s happened to me: when I had an outdoor pool, we didn’t manage to get the thing shut down and covered for the winter one year until nearly Thanksgiving, which means we had to scoop away a three-inch sludge of fallen leaves first! The frustrating thing was that by avoiding that chore for too long, we made even more work for ourselves.
As the seasons shift into autumn, our To Do lists grow longer and longer. Suddenly we are faced with those end-of-summer chores: putting away lawn furniture, getting windows weatherized against the chill, moving cold-sensitive plants indoors. And this is on top of all the everyday stuff we already have to keep in mind. How to get it all done without going into overwhelm?
Here is some liberating help for all of us. Discover two magical keys that help solve the problem of endless lists of chores, and take the Priorities Quiz to make everything simple and do-able! It’s all here:
The keys are to prioritize and to be realistic and let go.
1. To help you Prioritize, try this Priority Quiz:
Start by writing down a list of all the projects and must-dos that face you, in no particular order. (Getting that list off your mind and down on paper is a great step in relieving any anxiety around doing them!) Next, ask yourself the following questions around each item on your list:
a. Will not doing this now impact negatively on my family’s health or welfare?
b. Will not doing this now mean more work later on?
c. Would doing this now give me real pleasure and add joy to my life?
If the answer is “yes” to any of these three questions, then mark those items with a star! They are your real To Do list. Everything else can go on hold until you have the extra time and energy to deal with it.
2. Be realistic and then let go. Even that essential To Do list needs to be broken down into manageable bites, and that has to be based around what you are realistically capable of accomplishing, given the constraints of work and family responsibilities, as well as your state of health and energy. Nobody can manage to do everything at once, not even those of us with the urge to be all and do all. The most important thing you can do for your own peace of mind--and the well-being of your family and home--is to let go of your inner perfectionist. Set yourself realistic, achievable goals for every day or every week, depending on how busy you are.
It can help to make a list and give yourself the satisfaction of crossing off each item you manage to do. And be sure to factor in rewards for yourself, or be aware of the rewards inherent in the job done. For instance, all of the rain we’ve had recently flooded the basement, so now I have to go through bags and bags of old clothes to see what’s usable and what’s not, before they mildew. (This would not only be a waste of clothing, but mold and mildew would be a bad thing for our health, so it’s on my really essential To Do list.) To make this chore less irksome, I’m turning it into a kind of treasure-hunt: I may rediscover a whole new wearable wardrobe! At the very least, I’ll have the satisfaction of donating and jettisoning stuff that has been a useless space-clot and energy drain. Because I’m too busy to do it all at once, I’m giving myself the very do-able goal of going through three bags a day--and I’ll be done in no time. As for all the other projects I had in mind to do before the cold weather sets in, they can wait: I’m practicing letting go. So can you!