Who's To-Do List Is It?
by Aila Accad, RN, MSN
Every fall, I began to feel the constricted pressure of having too much to do and no time to get it all done. One year, I had an epiphany about why this happened and what to do about it.
It was a crisp, beautiful fall morning. For me, it was the kind of weather that makes me want to get up and dance my way through the day. Not this morning, though. I sat on the sofa, pulled the cover over my head and wanted to disappear.
I didn’t want to die. I just desperately needed go away for three months and come back with a fresh start.
Between work, my husband and kid’s schedules, household responsibilities and impending holiday tasks, I felt over my head and sinking fast. It immobilized me.
As I sat there with the comforter over my head, the thought came to me, “What if I have a heart attack and die? Who would do all this stuff?”
The answers created an epiphany that changed my life.
There were many tasks my husband and kids would pick up for survival – food shopping, laundry, cooking, and maybe some cleaning. “If they can do this when I’m dead, why can’t they do it now?” flashed through my mind. “Do I have to die first?”
Then, there were things nobody would do. The question arose, “Why am I doing them?”
I realized that I most of these things came directly from my mother and father’s To-Do lists. It never occurred to me to re-evaluate their importance to me.
In fact, I adopted most of the items on my ‘to-do’ list from other people’s lists. These are the ‘shoulds’ from growing up that I never questioned. I realized I was spending most of my time and energy on what others would think of me or judge me for if I didn’t do them. These had to go.
There were things no one else would do, yet, I loved doing them. I came to understand that these are truly the most important activities to have on My To-Do List.
Clearing my list through elimination and delegation made a huge difference. Now I have plenty of space and time to act on the things that are most rewarding and productive for me to do.
Summer is over and a new season is beginning. This is the time that I review my Master To-Do list and clear off the old before adding anything new. A streamlined focus allows for optimum manifestation of what are truly the most important priorities in my life.
Whose To-Do list are you using today?
© 2009 Aila Accad
Aila Accad, RN, MSN ‘Your Stress-Busters Coach’ is an award-winning
certified life coach
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