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 Post subject: How I Ditched My To Do List: You Can Too!
PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:48 am 
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How I Ditched My To Do List: You Can Too!
by LeeDavidhcz

A friend asked me what I accomplished yesterday. Did you run a mile? Did you finish a big project or land a new project? Did you do something to make the world a better place?

Nope, I took a walk.

Big deal (insert your own sarcastic inner critic voice here), right?

Yes, it is. It's a HUGE deal. Here’s why.

Sometimes we believe accomplishments have to be big flourishes of activity the whole world notices. If your boss in cubicle world doesn’t pat you on the back or if you haven’t told everyone within ten feet how you wrote three technical documents yesterday, your professional existence is not validated. If no one notices, it doesn't count. Our fast-paced results-based society encourages the belief that what you do or produce is more important than what you are. I say you you must occasionally stop thinking about results if you want to get results.

Wait, stop thinking about results to get results? That makes no sense. I say it makes perfect sense! Not forever, just for a day here and there.

My ex husband used to call me queen of the to-do lists from hell. I made lists a mile long of all the things I expected to accomplish in a day. Then I'd go grocery shopping or fix the toilet (not on the list) and berate myself endlessly for all the stuff I DIDN'T accomplish. Sound familiar? I suspect this is a common woe of the creative entrepreneurial mind. Luckily, we can learn to live with this way of thinking. Note: I didn't say "fix this way of thinking" because the word fix implies there's something wrong with it and I know there's nothing wrong with your active, imaginative, entrepreneurial mind.

You will never complete everything on your to-do list. Get over trying. Disclaimer: I am not perfect at this practice. That's why I call it practice.

What about creating a to-BE list? What do you need at your core to feel good about your business and your personal world? What if all your to-do's somehow supported your to-be's? Would you feel inspired? What if your to-be list was your “business plan” for your whole life, work, love, home, and all?

What do you want to be?

I want to be physically healthy and fit. Right now, I'm not. I’ve been immersed in my chaotic to-do world. I've been working 24/7. I'm burnt out and anxious. So, what to do? Add a gym workout to the to-do list from hell? Wrong! Who am I kidding?

Start with a baby step. I committed to a 20 minute walk outdoors. I couldn't handle a week-long commitment, so I am making a day-by-day commitment.

There, a one day commitment to a walk felt like something I could easily do.

I crossed "walk" off my to-do list yesterday. I told myself, “Self, I am healthy and fit!” Note: I do not say "I will be healthy and fit.” Affirmations should always be stated in the present tense in order for your unconscious mind to believe them. That one to-be item supports all the other things I want on my to-do list.

Periodic focus on the to-be's (rather than production and results) gives you energy to tackle the to-do's. Amazing!

Start your to-be list by writing only four or five of your personal non-negotiables; the values you hold most dear. Resist the urge to create a long to-be list.

For each item on your to-be list, ask yourself, “Why do I want that?” Then ask why again and again until you uncover the essence (core) of what you want. For me, a long life of creativity, learning, and love is at the core of my desire to be physically fit. Once you uncover the core belief or value, you can then spend some time working your to-be's into your to-do list.

Whatever you did yesterday big or small, noticed or unnoticed, here’s a virtual pat on the back from one small business owner to another. I feel your struggles and your accomplishments, for they are mine too.

The beautiful thing about a to-be list is that it rarely changes because it reflects who you are rather than what you do. When what you do flows from who you are, life doesn't have to be hard.

So now, what do you want to be today?

Visit Eruptingmind for Self Improvement And Motivating People.

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