Ever have that feeling you’re running out of time? I take medication for high blood pressure (apparently, I inherited that condition), so I’m already more than a little high strung. Add the fact that I’d like to accomplish a few things before I start pushing up daisies like writing, running my own business, raising my child, loving my husband, and the boring stuff like sleeping, exercising, eating, laundry, brushing my teeth…you know the drill. And finally, I’m not 20 anymore. So, REALITY CHECK: time is running out.
Well, friends…I could feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about all the stuff I wasn’t getting done.
I promised myself this morning I would make a list and just chip away until I got ahead, or at least, caught up.
Then I realized that I may never get ahead. I might not even catch up anytime soon.
I closed my eyes and did some deep breathing. (Keep that blood pressure down, you know.) I finally managed to convince myself, however, to do 2 things:
1. Put the most important items first, do those, then move onto the least important. Whatever I do get done, at least, will be important.
2. Take deep breaths. Lots of them. Often.
I had to look at my list of things to get done and prioritize them. But how to prioritize? They all need to be done.
Then I had this idea: I decided to imagine my life five years from now—and ask myself a question: “How terrible would life be if this item never got done?”
If the answer was “Not terrible”, I cut it from the list.
If the answer was “Terrible—and kind of gross.” (Lots of cleaning to-do’s fell into this category.) I then asked myself, “But does this have to be done today or can it wait until tomorrow?” If tomorrow, it slipped off today’s list. At some point, the answer will change to “Yes, it has to be done today”—then it can stay on today’s list. Until then, it can wait a day.
If the answer was “Not completely terrible, but it’s important to me.” Kept those on the list, and put them in order of what was most important to me.
If the answer was, “It would hurt no one but me,” those items immediately moved to the top of the list. If I don’t take care of me, who else is going to do it?
That really did help. And I have managed to get 3 things–3 of my top priorities–finished this morning.
I’m not sure I will ever catch up or get it all done…but I’m still taking those deep breaths, and feeling a little more in control.
Oh, and I am trying this other little app on my phone called PomodoroPro. It’s free right now for download, and it’s supposed to help you stay focused and get more done. So far, so good. Give it a try if you like. Kinda fun.