Christine Hassler: Is Your To-Do List Doing You In?
If you are feeling overwhelmed by everything you have to get done, it is time for a to-do list do-over.
"You can tell the size of your faith by looking at the size of your worry list. The longer your list, the smaller your God." -- Author Unknown
Have you thought about all the things you have to get done in the day before you even brush your teeth? Is your mind so distracted by thoughts of the future that you do things like wash your hair with bath gel by mistake? Are you stressed out before you even have your first sip of coffee?
I get it. Your to-do list feels overwhelming. You have a lot on your plate. But here is the thing: Your entire to-do list is not entirely up to you. I understand that you think it is, but it’s not.
Today I am sharing how I have stopped being overwhelmed by my to-do list by simply replacing the word “my” with “our.” You see, I was one of those people who woke up with a to-do list in my head. My mind had already run a marathon through the list of tasks, errands, anticipated conversations, appointments and deadlines before I even began my morning workout. Sometimes I would write it all down and get great satisfaction from drawing a line through each completed action. But usually I just kept a running to-do list in my head that maintained an unhealthy, yet familiar, stress level. I needed a to-do list makeover.
It dawned on me that the main reason I felt overwhelmed by my to-do list was because I kept calling it mine! Now each morning when I sit down at my desk, I light a candle, turn on my fountain, read my mission statement, say a prayer, and then make our to-do list. On a sheet of paper, I write the date and divide the paper into two columns. On the top of the left-hand column I write “me,” and list all the things I intend to accomplish that day. I keep it limited to only the things I know I have the capacity to complete. For example, if I am working on a project that will take several days to finish, I write, “Work for a minimum of 30 minutes on _____.”
Now here is where the “our” part comes in: On the top of the right column I write “God,” and list all the things I would like Spirit’s/God’s/The Universe’s help and support with. For instance, if calling my insurance company is on my side of the list, I will ask God for a very friendly and helpful customer service representative. I will ask for a traffic-free drive to an appointment, increased levels of clarity for an anticipated conversation, extra energy if I did not sleep well, or help with focus on completing a particular task. Or if I am feeling a bit disconnected, I will request a way to reconnect back to Love and be of greater service. And sometimes I will put things on the list just for fun and upliftment, such as receiving an unexpected pleasant surprise. The great thing about giving God a to-do list is that He never feels overwhelmed.
Consider that the reason your to-do list feels overwhelming is because you are buying into the misunderstanding that it is all up to you. So my encouragement to you today is to ask for support. What can you delegate to a higher power? How can you ask for help and added blessings that will make your day less stressful? I believe there is limitless seen and unseen support all around us. We just forget to ask. So ask your angels for help -- they love assignments. Then let it go. If everything you requested happens, great. If it does not, trust that whatever is happening is in your highest good.
When I first began to make our daily to-do list, my side was a lot longer. Now, however, I surrender much more to God. I’ve realized that God is far better at getting things done than I am, and that I am better at both doing and being when I ask for Grace. My prediction is that as you share your to-do list with a higher power, you too will feel more productive and peaceful.
"Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials." -- Lin Yutang
Christine Hassler is a former Hollywood agent and achievement addict turned best-selling author, life coach and speaker known for offering radical reflection with practical direction. She teaches people how to overcome their Expectation Hangovers® and answer the questions: who am I, what do I want and how do I get it. Get her free weekly lessons at www.christinehassler.com and follow her on Twitter.