You know those days – and perhaps it is even every day – when there is a long list of activities to accomplish? These lists may be about work, family and even yourself. Are you a person who writes it down or is your memory good enough to keep it in your head?
I personally have pieces of paper in several places in my home – just in case something pops into my head. I don’t want to worry about or waste time trying to remember something I decided was important.
I have noticed that when I have a list, the list itself can easily become the focus. It is not so much about the content or activity, but the completion and striking it off the list becomes the main motivator.
When I am in that mode, I stop having an emotional connection with my activities and often they become boring and “have to”s, more of a burden than adding something positive into my life. Can you relate to that?
However, initially, you added these items to your list because they were going to contribute to the quality of your life or that of your family. At work the list may include items needed to complete a project, to organize an event, to take care of your clients or customers. At home, the list may include repairs, food or social events. While parts of the list may not seem exciting, the overall intention usually is to take of yourself and others in some way.
It is easy to forget this this when there is a sense overwhelm or burden!
So how can you remedy that challenge?
Here are 5 steps to turn it around:
1. Allow yourself a moment of conscious breathing. : ))
2. Create 3 lists: separating your work, friends/ family/others and yourself.
3. Go through each list and see what is essential and what is not essential.
4. Look at what you have decided to be essential and take a moment to see how the completion of it would benefit you, your family/friends/others and your work. Re-engage yourself with the activity, knowing your why and how it fits in with your vision of life.
Once you are at this point, you may notice that there is some excitement building around the list. You may actually start looking forward to getting some things done – not because you have to, but because you want to! Big difference!!
The last step is the most important!
5. Every time you have completed an activity on your list, stop and close your eyes for a moment. Connect with what you have just done and let it sink into your body. Become aware how it feels inside. Notice, how it changes you, nurtures you, becomes part of you. Give yourself the gift of time to acknowledge and integrate each activity.
You may be familiar with this ‘stop – notice – integrate’ practice as part of some movement or meditations you do. If you are, then you know that this moment of paying attention and letting it sink in is actually the most important part of these activities. It is a powerful moment of change and transformation, and you are present to witness that occurring.
I invite you to begin incorporating this idea into your life. Instead of rattling off the items on your list with the focus on getting it done, feeling pressure and overwhelm, take a break after each and notice how you can use any activity on your list to add to your sense of wholeness and fulfillment.
Pause – breathe – notice – enjoy!