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Productivity Burn-out: Changing your to-do list

October 4, 2018


If you are like me, you probably have a running to-do list that you are constantly referencing and adding to.  


Or maybe you have several lists that you often come across as you are sorting papers.     (Deciphering old notes to yourself is always an interesting task. "Why did I need milk, feathers, and crickets? And did I plan to get them in the same store?”)  


Or maybe you just keep it all in your head and just hope you aren’t forgetting something.  


Whatever your strategy, we are all often well aware of what we need to get done.  Even if we get a few things done on the to-do list, our “to-do’s” are much like the laundry.  They are never ending.  There is always more to do.  (Which reminds me, I should probably go move the wash into the dryer when I get home).  


Some of our responsibilities can be overwhelming and unrewarding.    Does your to-do list ever just get you in a funk?  Do you find yourself so exhausted from what you HAVE to do, that you just don’t feel like doing any of it?  Do you despise the monotony of housework?   Do you feel that diminished sense of accomplishment when you cross something off your list while you add three more items?

I recently felt this sense of task-burnout.  I found myself struggling to focus on my list, allowing my mind to escape to other places (or Facebook-land) to avoid productivity.  Don't get me wrong.  I love to organize and be productive.  But there are always dreaded tasks I have to face, like calling my insurance company AGAIN to address a billing issue, or completing administrative tasks like updating my books.  Running a business and being the CEO of my household can take it’s toll.  Strangely enough, I am finding the solution is adding more to your to-do list!


Yes, more!  I have always made sure that my to-do list includes all of my responsibilities---home, work, school, Cub Scouts, sports teams, family, and PTO.  But I have been neglecting to put my responsibility to myself on that list.   I am not on my list.  Sound familiar?


How many of us honor our commitments to others, but neglect to honor commitments to ourselves?    I encourage you to take some time to ask yourself what can you do for yourself on a daily/weekly/monthly basis to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.    Schedule those date nights and girls nights out. Work exercise into your routine. Take time each day to read or meditate. Take a bath. Pamper yourself.  Take time to breathe and replenish.


Care for yourself does not need to be time consuming.  For me today it was treating myself to a change in scenery and enjoying a Starbucks coffee while I worked.   And now I am feeling ready to look at the rest of my to-do list. Well, almost. ;)


So take a look at your to do list now, and add the words “self-care”.  What can you do for yourself today to add a little peace, love and joy to your life?



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