June 16, 2019
Only Positivity #1: Don’t Let To-Do Lists Run Your Life
Only Positivity #1: Don’t Let To Do Lists Run Your LifeSource: The Burgundy Zine
To do lists are a double edged sword. On one hand, they’re a great tool for increasing productivity and reducing stress. On the other hand, to do lists can end up running your entire life.
The Good in Writing To Do Lists
Before we rally against to do lists, let’s soften the blow a bit with why they’re important.
First and foremost, they are easy, accessible, and are a great start for getting your act together. Mind you, writing a to do list won’t get your act together. That’s your job. A to do list can only help you remember which initiatives to take.
On that note, writing a to do list puts you in a space to get organized. Having all of your responsibilities laid out on a simple piece of loose leaf paper allows you to visualize your priorities, rather than having to juggle all of them in your head.
Additionally, keeping to do lists could help you destress. It gets all of the tasks, errands, and chores that are constantly whirling around in your brain out of your head and onto something tangible.
Sometimes it feels nice to write a to do list just to get your mind to quiet down.
The Dark Side of To Do Lists
Yes, as silly as it may sound, there is definitely a dark side to writing to do lists. Relying too heavily on them can create chaos, quickly becoming a source of stress and unnecessary anxiety.
Instead, they should serve as a soft guide or reminder of what’s really important to accomplish today.
By important, I don’t mean “go to the store and pick up a bag of oranges.” I mean, “pay this bill by midnight or have to sit in the dark for a few days” important.
The only thing worse than stressing yourself out over your own to do lists that you wrote for yourself is stressing yourself out over completely arbitrary tasks that are wildly unimportant in the grand scheme of things.
The Solution: Idea Lists
Instead of writing “to do lists,” why not take “idea lists” for a spin?
Under the guise of an “idea list,” they are no longer big, scary “to dos.” Rather, they are a list of “ideas” to keep you inspired, motivated, and nudge you to stay on track throughout the day.
Just a thought.
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