Tag Archives: to-do lists

Freedom from Addiction

Overcoming an addiction of any type is never easy. You always hear that the first step is to admit that you have a problem. I couldn’t agree more.

Hi. My name is LaKeisha, and I’m addicted to being busy. I don’t know how to relax, enjoy spare time, or not multi-task. Help!

I’d say that’s a pretty good admission.

In my last blog, I said I’d tell you how I am making steps to overcome my addiction. That’s exactly what I’m doing – making steps. It doesn’t happen overnight. And boy, is it not easy! I can’t tell you how many times in just a few short weeks, I’ve been tempted to just add one more thing to the calendar, or swing past this event (really quickly of course), or stop by this happening. I realize that resisting my own self imposed pressure to “just keep going” is going to be harder than any external force could put in place.

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So how am I doing it? Here goes ….

First, I’m putting myself on a schedule. I will put in set times for homeschool, set times for writing, set times to have fun with my husband, set times to enjoy the kids, and set times to relax. To some of you, a schedule might sound like more stress. But as a person who likes structure and wants to stick something in every spare moment, making myself take several hours or a day to relax is necessary. At least at this stage of the game.

Next, I am cutting down my to-do list. My lists were epic. I could have twenty items on a to-do list, all of which I expected to accomplish after a full day of homeschooling, making dinner, spending time with the family, and getting everyone off to bed. I’m laughing now – it’s insane, really, that I operated like that. Trying to keep each day to five items, max. I’ve already broken my rule several times, but at least the boundary is there, to reel me back in.

Third, I am really focusing on prayer and devotional time. I have to remember that God created rest! It’s something that’s good, beneficial and necessary for us. As I stay focused on Him and His Word, I find it easier to remember what’s important, and why.

Which brings me to my next point. I’m doing a better job of prioritizing. I’ve always thought organizing and putting things in order is one of my strengths. Well now I’ve turned it up several notches, because I have to prioritize my top priorities, if only five are going to make it on the list. This is really hard. But the more I do it, the better I’m becoming at succeeding.

And the all important learning to say no! When I first started blogging, my first blog was devoted to learning to say no, so I didn’t destroy myself and my family with my craziness. I learned that lesson, and proceeded to undo all I’d learned by getting crazy busy again. So, this also has to be turned up a notch. I’ll be saying no to several good things. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you, it doesn’t mean I don’t want the best for my kids, it doesn’t mean I don’t want my husband to succeed. And it sure doesn’t mean I don’t want success! But everything just can’t get done. Not humanly possible. So that’s that.

Lastly, it is one step at a time! Seriously. So I added too many things to my to-do list today. Okay, breathe. Be patient. Start over. Tomorrow’s a new day. Man, before I knew it, that “yes” to accept that invitation was out of my mouth. I should have said no. It happens. Regroup. Do better next time.

Here’s to victory. And staying free. One “no” at a time.

Taking Back My Time

To-do lists. They are the bane of my husband’s existence. But I absolutely love to-do-lists. I feel so accomplished and so full of purpose when I can cross off an item. I feel like my time is being used wisely. And this year, I am determined to regain and repurpose my time. For years I have allowed others to tell me what to do with my time. Don’t get me wrong, in some instances this is necessary. If you don’t do what the boss says with your time while you’re on the clock, you’ll find yourself with more time to spare than you know what to do with. However, as I take a look back and evaluate past actions, I can see what tweaks are needed for the future.

For example, when asked to come to a function/volunteer/participate/do a task, I will smile politely and say “I’ll get back to you.” I used to be so quick with a “yes” and “of course”, as it was the polite thing to do and seemed to roll off my tongue naturally. But also being a person who keeps my word, saying yes too fast can place me in an uncomfortable position. I buy myself some time. And I get back to you.

I also do a better job of budgeting my time. A wise friend once told me that he picks three major goals for the week, and strives to make those things happen. I’ve had great success using his method. Of course this doesn’t include the mundane tasks that have to be done. Rather, it refers to larger projects you want to focus on.

My husband has given me valuable insight on this one. I make sure each goal has a system. (Hubby says he can’t take full credit, he read it in a great article). Nonetheless, it’s working wonders for me. If my goal is to read every day or workout, it won’t magically happen. Especially if my two little ones have anything to say about it. But if I say I will read at least 10 minutes per day between 9pm-10pm, now we have a system to accomplish the goal. And one more item checked off of the to-do list :).

Lastly, I make lists. Then make lists again. My lists have lists. I may be exaggerating (but only slightly). I note everything I want to accomplish for the week, break it down by what I will do each day, and then each day keep those scheduled items written in a small notebook with me. It sounds like a lot, but is really my key to a calmer, less-cluttered life, that allows me to enjoy my tasks … and my time.