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Tweaking My To-Do List

Ever have a to-do list that's WAY too long? Yea, that happens to me pretty much every day. And when I only get a *few* items crossed off my to-do list, I tend to think of the day as a failure. But this summer has taught me not to focus so intently on the crossing off... let me share what I've been learning.

The list is just a tool. It's not the standard by which I must live every moment of my life. And if the tool isn't aiding me, then it's essentially a worthless, broken tool. This summer I have learned to use the right tool for the job. Due to ridiculously, unexplainable, unusually bizarre events and circumstances that have turned one-hour projects into twenty-hour drudgery's, I've opted for shorter daily to-do lists. And surprisingly, I get a lot more done with a shorter list.

Time is not flexible or negotiable. I've only got so much of it each day, and I cannot make it "mind me" and do what I say. Let go of expectations about how my time should "behave" and accept that I don't actually have any ownership over time? Yup, that's what I've had to do this summer. And guess what? I'm glad time doesn't obey me. That would be a total "waste of time"...pun intended!

Enjoy life more, and realize that getting things done isn't what life is really about. This is key for me as a type-A, homeschooling mother. I have given myself permission to enjoy life more and more throughout this summer, and it has been such a blessing. My kids are 20, 18, 17, 15 and 13. I don't have all the time in the world to enjoy them. So I'm just enjoying them in the moment, in the "right now". Sure, I still get things done that simply must be taken care of. But my perspective is different - and life is a lot happier.

To-do lists often have "must-dos" and "ought-tos" and "have-tos". Try putting some "want-tos" on your list. It makes a big difference in my attitude, and that impacts the entire family. Add some of your husband and kids "want-tos" now and then, and see how making the fun stuff a priority makes your day a lot less stressful.

So to recap - keep a short to-do list (like less than 10 items!) ~ stop trying to make time behave itself and mind you ~ choose to enjoy your life today (tell yourself "I like my life" all day long) ~ put a "want-to" on your list today!

Happy List-Making!

Day 270 done :)

Jan L. Burt


  1. Jan, my to-do list just keeps getting longer! Do you want it?? ;) Miss you friend!!


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