Nov 13, 2017

Want More Freedom? Create a Stop Doing List

In this crazy busy world we live in – our to-do lists just are not cutting it. If you are anything like me – you wake up with a plan and know what you want to accomplish for the day. Check this off the to-do list, check another item off the list and so on.

But why is it that we feel exhausted, unfulfilled, and maybe like we did not get enough done for the day? Even with all the items marked off of our to-do lists – we still feel, well, like we did not do enough.

Our to-do lists need a theme

Many of us, myself included, fill our to-do lists with minor things. Meaning, those pesky things that need to get done, but do not necessarily need to be on our growing to-do lists. For example, things like picking up the dry cleaning, cleaning the living room, catching up with an old friend, etc.

I truly and firmly believe that our to-do lists need a theme. Just think if you created a to-do list that was solely dedicated to work, another list for your household, another list for your family and friends, and finally a list that is solely dedicated to your dreams and goals.

Sounds great? Right? Nope. It actually sounds downright overwhelming. Separating your to-do lists, or reorganizing them is a great way to tackle things one project at a time. I mean, if you are focusing your efforts for a few hours on household chores, a to-do list solely dedicated to household chores makes sense, doesn’t it?

Read also – How to Stop Juggling and Start Balancing Your Life

But what I have found over the years, because I am one of those crazy list makers, is this: My to-do lists are often filled with unimportant things. Things that feel heavy, things that do not light me up, and things that cause anxiety. But we are adults here, and sometimes, just sometimes, we have to do things we really do not care to do. It is part of life.

I want you to take a moment and set aside some time to create a Stop Doing List. Yes, you read that right. A stop doing list. A list that will bring you more freedom than you will ever realize. It may even become your best friend when you are feeling stressed out and running on fumes.

Why do you need to create a stop doing list?

A stop doing list creates freedom, time to think, and clarity. A stop doing list actually allows you time to consider all that you do on a weekly and daily basis, and gives you permission to evaluate how valuable it is to your life.

For example, if you find your calendar is filled with social obligations from friends and family, it can be quite difficult to find time for necessary self-care and investing time in your hobbies and working on your dreams. A stop doing list is the perfect time and place to write down activities that do not serve you at the moment. Many of people, myself included, when they are first introduced to the notion of a stop doing list, wince a bit.

Just remember, when you create a stop doing list, the items you put on this list are not permanent, they are going on the list for the day or the week or even the month. Nothing is set in stone! But sometimes we have to reprioritize our life to get the things done that mean the most to us at the moment. And this constantly changes!

How to create a stop doing list

If you have no idea where to start, follow these three important aspects of your life when creating your stop doing list:

Social obligations

Maybe you have dinner with your extended family once every few weeks or meet a few friends for coffee every Sunday. Ask yourself one question: Do you look forward to these social gatherings? If your answer is no, put them on your stop doing list this week. Politely bow out of a specific social gathering and use the time for yourself.

Work obligations

We all have had a boss that may not respect our time. They may ask you to stay late, pickup extra hours or handle additional tasks. Whatever the situation, ask yourself this question: What is one thing I can stop doing at work that is already above and beyond my position this week? Start simple, and remember to start with one thing.

Read also – 15 Important Self-Care Tips for Workaholics

Personal obligations

We all have to do chores around the house, around the yard, take care of our families and so on. Think of one thing you can outsource. Could you hire someone to come rake your yard or do your laundry?

If this is not feasible, then think of one thing you could ask a member of your household to pick up for the week. Could your spouse take over the yard work or dishes this week?

As women, we are natural superheroes! We have the tendency to think we can do it all. And we can, but then we end up burning ourselves out or even worse, become resentful.

Employ the use of stop doing list by selecting three things you can stop doing this week. Start small and see how much time and peace of mind you can create for yourself.

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