To do lists have a tendency to expand exponentially. Unfortunately, they aren’t always realistic and often contain more items than are possible for you to accomplish in a set period of time. When my to do list starts to get out of control, I start to feel tired, edgy, sick, and unhappy. If this sounds familiar, remember that it doesn’t have to be this way! Instead, it’s time to quit your to do list and feel happy more often!
How about you? How do you feel when the demands on you are greater than your time and energy?
It’s a common problem.
My clients often tell me that they have too much on their to do lists. Usually, they want to take things off of the lists but for some reason they’re holding back. Sometimes it’s because they’re afraid of disappointing someone else. Sometimes, it’s a fear of looking weak or not in control. It can even be a response to past trauma. You might just be trying to control things so that you don’t have to deal with consequences that might have happened in the past.
Often, I find that it’s a judgement that they’re putting on themself. They keep pushing to do more so that they can feel like they’ve done ‘enough’ to justify the rest break. I know that I’ve fallen into this particular trap myself more than once.
Do any of those reasons resonate with you?
I’m sabotaging myself with this behavior
Like you, I get caught up in this cycle every once in awhile. I forget that you can quit your to do list and push, push, push to get it all done. When this happens, you can find me putting off the things that will help me feel better just so that I can get one more thing done in my life. After all, that one more thing is super important, right? Feeling exhausted, frazzled or frustrated doesn’t matter, right?
Usually, the answers are no that last thing can wait and feeling exhausted, frazzled or frustrated isn’t what I really want to feel.
This isn’t a fun cycle to be in for me and I’m sure you don’t appreciate it much either.
This belief that I’ll take care of myself after I finish all of my chores for the day just doesn’t work out. I very rarely find myself without anything to do. I can always find more to add to my list. That means that at the end of the day, I’m often still trying to do just one or two more things before I go to bed. I then end up going to bed later than I wanted and more tired than I needed to be Then, I don’t get enough sleep and the next day I’m tired and not working at my full capacity.
It can be be a vicious cycle that leads to me not feeling happy or even good about myself.
I’m sabotaging myself with this behavior.
I know it. I just haven’t completely broken myself of this habit.
I’ve actually been aware of this pattern for quite awhile. I’d say that I’m better than I used to be at it. So there’s hope for you too!
Your connection to your body is important.
What has helped me to change my behavior has been my ever-growing connection to my body.
It comes down to my practice of awareness. I’ve learned to better read the signals that my body’s giving to me. I’ve learned to listen to it when it’s tired and take a break. I’ve also learned that I’m allowed to simply tweak whatever is happening & make it work better for me.
I can practice awareness to notice the small signals, perhaps the need to take a break, or I can ignore them until those signals are much larger and perhaps I’m sick or injured. Personally, I like it when I pay better attention and stop for that break instead of waiting until I get sick or injured.
When you practice awareness of your body, you start to get better at it. It’s always exciting to me when my clients learn that with a little body awareness, they can start to shift a habit such as this. I celebrate with them when they can start to see the power behind this practice.
Learn how to quit your to do list with me!
I still don’t always get it right and ignore those signals at times, but even just getting the signals right part of the time has helped me to feel so much better. I’m not as pushed to get everything done & my body has fewer aches and pains.
How do I do this?
I give myself permission to listen to my body and simply stop trying to get it all done. Because really it never will be all done anyway. So, instead of pushing myself until I feel bad, I could do the opposite and just stop when I need it, take a break, and take care of myself in the process.
Slowly, I’m learning how this works and you can quit your to do list too!
So, if you’re like me, a mom who has spent the last 26+ years taking care of others and still trying to remember that I’m part of the equation too, then join me in quitting that to-do list at least every once in awhile. I’m working on rearranging my priorities. Trying to complete a very long to do list is a habit that’s been years in the making and I’ll slowly unwind it.
You can too!
Remember, it’s never too late to live healthier or happier and it only takes one small tweak to change your direction!
Becky is a Yoga Therapist & has been teaching yoga since 2006. She loves to match people with a yoga practice that helps them to feel better every day & believes that there is a yoga practice for everyone. Click here to sign up for her mailing list & get all of the important news & tips first!