From seizing the day to setting the day
I used to make a to-do list every morning. That helped me organize my thoughts and my tasks for the day. It’s a great productivity tool. And I am really, really great at being productive. But it turned into a way that, for me, became unbalanced. It morphed into accomplishing more and more and more — because, well, I actually could do it. (Some would call this “rising to the occassion.” But forgetting to appropriately stand down.)
Can you relate? Do you subscribe to “work first, then rest?” Do you also find that the work is actually never done? Do you add pieces of tomorrow’s tasks onto today’s to-do list, thinking it will clear space in your tomorrow — and yet then your new today turns out to be just as full as your yesterday and the day before was, anyway?
Do you ever feel that you are usually either catching up, or working ahead so that you don’t get behind, just to maintain?
I see you, my friend. I was this, too. Unitl I finally learned what until then had been a secret to me:
It’s not about doing the things.
It’s about how I feel, while doing the things.
So first I choose how I want to be,
And then I go do the things.
I now have a daily To-Be list instead of a To-Do list.
Here’s an example: Say today I want to be calm and peaceful. Okay, now I prioritize feeling peaceful while I work on creating that project, as I lead this virtual meeting, during my making supper. Maybe a different day I’m really feeling like I need a dose of freedom. So then I bring a sense of freedom to my trip to the laundromat, during my grocery shopping, as I vacuum.
Get it? Suddenly it doesn’t matter what I Do, I am already how I want to Be — and yet, all the stuff still gets done! And, prepare yourself — it actually gets done better.
It’s like going from swimming with sharks to playing with dolphins. We’re still in the sea, but now in a very different way. Which one feels better?
I intetionally take some time to set my day every morning. I call it my To-Be list. For me, the to-do’s are always there; I don’t actually have to focus on them in order for me to still be a rock star at productivity. It’s just that now I’m not frantic with or wiped out by my to-do’s, because I figured out how to find balance in the process along the way instead of at the end of the day.
And you can, too.
How do you want to be, today? Identify that, and then go be it as you move through your day still getting sh*t done. Your focus is on how you want to be, as you still attend to your to-do’s.