It’s no secret that I have a love-hate relationship with my to-do list. I entirely depend on it to do my thinking for me, yet I rage against the unreasonable demands it makes. One day, in the midst of a big fight with my planner, I paused to read a gorgeous post by Julie Bel Connor about finding peace with what you are capable of on this earth. I’ve shared Julie’s beautiful, smart heart with you before when telling you about the wonderful work she does. She never fails to wow me with her on-point smarts. In this post, her concept of a Done List blew me away, so I asked her to tell us more about it below.
Read on and take a minute to feed yourself, friends–and then go mark it off on your Done List, because that’s an accomplishment truly worth noting!
Getting it Done….It’s Not What You Think by Julie Bel Conner
Who has 87 million things on their to-do list? I know I do. Some of those tasks often seem so daunting. They are things that will make us feel immensely good about ourselves if we complete them. So as a life coach I ask you the question – why? Why do we think these tasks will make us feel so good? Odds are we may never find out right?! So here I am presenting a new way to look at a list, as a mother, wife, friend, employee, employer, whatever your thing is. This is the done list and you may be amazed at the power it has.
How does it make us feel when we aren’t accomplishing the things on our list? Pretty terrible right? I know I don’t enjoy feeling crappy, I prefer to feel happy and although we are humans that have emotions which it okay, this is something that I believe we have a little control over.
What I am suggesting here is to explore, look at, and write down what we do every single day. Even if we don’t get a chance to write it down we can make a list in our heads. Think about a typical day as a mother, whether you stay home or work or work from home. Look at the things you do; change diapers or potty train, feed babies or prepare food, clean the house, do the laundry, drive children here, there and everywhere, take a shower (maybe), bathe your kids (maybe), shop, cook, console, comfort, compliment, adore, connect, love. The list could go on a mile long, but who really crosses those things off their to-do list? I don’t, and that’s probably because they are not on my list to begin with.
Why is that? Because we, as mothers, just feel these are the “supposed tos” and the “shoulds”, but really they are important tasks that make the world go ‘round. We have a huge responsibility to raise the next generation and all of those tasks are required (in some capacity, we are not perfect) to do this in a satisfactory way. So why can’t we put “changed 4 pee diapers, 3 poo diapers and heated up french fries” on our to do list? Of course we don’t have the foresight to predict the flow of elimination in the household and what a toddler will eat today, but we can write what we did do today. Let’s include all the seemingly menial tasks that make the world go ‘round and that support the future of our children.
Try to do it at least once a week (I ideally suggest daily), write down ALL the things you did on the done list and let your heart soar. Let yourself release your mom guilt and pay attention to all the things you do every single day of the week. Be proud of yourself and praise yourself for being a good mother and for doing so many things for other people.
Then you know what comes after the done list? Self-care. Thanking yourself by getting some needed alone time. Spending time with yourself and getting a pedicure, going for a run, doing something you love, SOLO. This is how we fill our energy back up and have the energy to give to that endless list of needed tasks that we accomplish every day. Please take the time for you, you deserve it.
Be gentle with yourself, you are doing a fabulous, amazing, incredible, awesome job!
****For further discussion on trying to strike a sane balance with housekeeping, check out this video on VProud!****
First image credit: depositphotos.com, image ID:25245701, copyright:luminastock
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Great post! Thanks for sharing this idea Meredith. I do have something of a done list when my hubby comes home every day. Not as if he asks, but I feel more accomplished when I say–we ran these three errands, we did two loads of laundry, the fish tank is clean, and we are trying something new for dinner! Telling him the things I did accomplish each day with the help of the kids makes me feel good and less guilty about the three hours I spent lying at the pool reading 😉
Go you, Erika, for seeing the stuff that you DID do! I love your balanced perspective on acknowledging your accomplishments while allowing your self NEEDED rest time too!