Perfectionism often goes hand in hand with eating & body issues. And perfectionism often goes hand in hand with never-ending To-Do lists. I certainly have one attempting to tyrannize my mind all throughout the day.
We can’t ignore that it can feel really good to check things off the list. It gives us a sense of confidence, accomplishment, a feeling of clearing away obstacles and making room to breathe. As with so many things, however, the problem arises when we become obsessed.
If you find yourself becoming obsessed with your To-Do list, and/or structuring your entire day around your To-Do list, I recommend the following:
Splurge all the tasks you can think of into a To-Do List From Hell. Set aside at least a good 15 minutes for this – and get it ALL out. I’m talking lengthy Word document, covering all areas – Work, Play, Relationships, Body, Household, Creativity, Family, Organizing… anything and everything that comes to mind. You’ll get exhausted before you could ever list everything, but, keep going until you feel like you got almost as much as you can think of for now out into the list.
Now, look over the list. Read it in its entirety. Notice the length of it. Start to imagine the number of minutes and hours some of the items on the list would take. If you’re really ambitious (or bored) actually add up the amounts of time everything would take altogether.
I’m sure you get the idea here – you’ll see that we would all need numerous lifetimes in order to do alllllllllllll the things we wish to do. And if we got that extra time, we’d think of even more things to do, of course, on into infinity. Concretely realizing this after making your own list, understand that this only grants more meaning to the actions we do choose to take, it doesn’t make them futile.
Your heart knows which “things to-do” are most important. Honor your limited time in this life by being fully present with the actions you do choose to take. Do one thing at a time. Know that your mountain of other things-to-do is recorded, not in danger of being forgotten, and then let it go as you do the one thing that it’s time to do.