Is the problem my to-do list?
Juggling the demands of family, work, and personal growth can sometimes feel like an impossible feat. Those days when you crawl into bed mentally and physically exhausted. With a to-do list a mile long, waiting for you to wake up.
I remember a time several years ago when the chaos of raising five boys, pulling me in several directions, reached its peak. Within a three-month span we had 52 football games, countless practices, homework, and the endless responsibilities of maintaining a home and nurturing a marriage, life seemed overwhelming.
It was during this crazy "season" that I received well-intentioned advice from someone I admire – to slow down, cut out the non-essentials.
Little did they know, every aspect seemed essential, and the prospect of eliminating anything felt like I was failing. I felt ashamed and like I was doing it all wrong.
In the midst of this turmoil, the realization struck – my to-do list was not the problem, the story I was telling myself about my list was what felt so awful.
I’ll never get it done
I have too much to do
I am not keeping up
No one appreciates all I am doing
It became evident that perhaps the key was not in doing less but in being kinder to myself and my family along the way. That maybe my life wasn't a disaster; rather it was a FULL, beautiful, and somewhat messy life, uniquely mine.
The journey to finding solace amid the busyness began with a shift in perspective. Instead of striving for perfection, I started asking myself more empowering questions. This simple exercise made all the difference for me and can for you too.
- How can I make my days more fun?
- Recognizing the importance of having more fun in your daily routine, explore simple ways to make ordinary moments extraordinary. Finding fun in small moments becomes a priority, and of course your brain will find what it was looking for - more joy!
- What am I doing well?
- It’s important to acknowledge the successes, big and small, and celebrate them. From managing to get everyone where they need to go on time to creating a warm and loving home, recognizing your achievements brings a sense of accomplishment.
- What am I doing that is making the most significant difference?
- Amidst the multitude of tasks, identifying the activities that truly make a difference will help you streamline priorities. Focusing on the impactful actions allowed for a more intentional and purposeful approach to daily life.
- What is my most important task today?
- Start identifying the most crucial task for the day. This shift from trying to accomplish everything to prioritizing one significant task allows for a more focused and effective use of time and energy.
- What help do I need?
- Recognizing the power of asking for help, both within the family and beyond is critical. Delegating tasks, seeking assistance, and fostering a sense of collective responsibility relieves the burden and allows for a more balanced life.
Navigating the to-dos of life doesn't mean cutting out joy or overwhelming yourself with an unattainable quest for perfection. Instead, it's about embracing imperfections, finding joy in the journey, and asking yourself the right questions that lead to growth and self-compassion.
So, amidst the whirlwind of life, look for the imperfectly perfect moments that make your life uniquely beautiful - and much more fun!