Back away from the to-do list

Back away from the to-do list

I love lists. There, I’ve said it, it’s out there, there’s no going back.

They organise my thoughts, help me to remember things when I’m crazy busy, and I get a real thrill when I get to tick things off. I’m sure (I hope) I’m not on my own with that last point… if you’re the same, please let me know and perhaps we can start a club.

I use them for planning out my day, my week, trips, holidays, meal plans and the weekly shop, goal setting, books I want to read, places I want to visit… you get the gist (hey, that rhymes with list).

Lists are brilliant, and I wouldn’t be half as organised and on top of things without them. That being said, yesterday I fell victim to one of my own lists.*

I’m going on holiday in three days, and I’d written a list of all the blog work I wanted to get completed before we go. There are 11 things on it; some are minor admin things, some are full posts, and there’s quite a bit of photography on it, too. I got up early and started working through the list, then quickly got overwhelmed because something wasn’t as straight forward as I’d hoped, which meant it was taking longer, and how was I going to fit everything in before Mallorca, and what if I didn’t have the technical know-how so I have to ask someone and they take too long to reply, and when the frick was I going replace the laces on my running shoes, and EVERYTHING IS CRUMBLING.

It was amidst this emotional breakdown that I suddenly thought “Hold your horses, Abby. You’re being ridiculous.”

Why exactly did everything have to be done before Mallorca? I’d put a massive, unrealistic deadline on myself, for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Is the world going to stop spinning if I don’t update Pinterest? Or if I don’t make and photograph my healthy risotto recipe? Or if I don’t check that all the links in my previous posts are working? I highly doubt it. And do you know what? Yes, my cat has shredded the lace on one of my running shoes, but it doesn’t matter. The lace still does up, for crying out loud.

Once I’d taken a step back and recognised the pressure I was putting on myself, I was able to re-adjust. I’ve removed the holiday deadline, and now I feel SO much better. I think it’s important that when you’re feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list, you have a good look at it and decide whether there are things you can delay, delegate (I’m useless at this one, I forget I have a husband who can also hoover the rug), or just completely forget about.

So, this is my reminder to you that your to-do list is not set in stone. You are allowed to change it, or even throw it in the bin if you want. That list is not worth your tears!

I’d like to round off by saying that writing this post was a completely spontaneous decision. That’s right, IT’S NOT EVEN ON MY LIST. Rebel.

*That sounds a bit dramatic. I might re-write that sentence.

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