If you know me, you know that I rely on my lists. I keep a variety of lists — yearly, seasonal, weekly, daily. I have special lists for projects or gifts or shopping. Sometimes, I even have lists of lists!
For me, having lists aren’t a burden. Instead, they are comforting and freeing. I don’t think of my list as a to-do list, but as a list of things I plan to accomplish today. Approaching the list as a positive opportunity instead of a burden makes a big difference.
Having the list lets me know when I’ve done enough for the day and that it’s ok to sit back and relax. Otherwise, I would be more likely to feel like I had to keep working to exhaustion.
A list helps me to identify the projects I can complete in the amount of time I have available. That way, I don’t lose time trying to figure out what to do — meaning more time for actually doing things.
I don’t act as though my lists are written in stone. If I need to delay something, I do. If I have an opportunity to spend time with a friend I haven’t seen in a while, I do. But having the list helps me to keep track of the things I need to re-schedule. In the same way, if I find myself with some extra time, I can work ahead.
Finally, I am a very busy elf. I am always looking into the future while I try to live in the present. Having a list helps me to keep my plans for the future from weighing down my today. I can put tasks for the future on my list and then let them go until the time is right. I don’t have to keep chasing them. That’s more calming than you’d imagine.