For years, I’ve been a “to do” list type of person. An excellent multi-tasker, I would often have many half-completed tasks going at once and a long list of things to get done. I’m finding that this approach isn’t working very well for me anymore. While I always have several projects going (I’ve decided this is just how my brain works), having them all on a list of things to do feels overwhelming and stressful these days. Deadlines (usually my self-imposed ones) are also a huge stressor.
Intuitively, I feel quite sure that the Universe is trying to help me break the habit of mentally and emotionally juggling too much, by giving me too much to juggle. When I find myself in this situation, I know I have a couple of options on how to respond.
1. Run faster and try to keep up (think hamster wheel here…how far does that hamster ever really go?)
2. Worry about what I can’t get done (we all know how much that accomplishes!)
3. Surrender control of HOW and WHEN it gets done and just do what I feel motivated to do in the moment. Trust that what really needs to be done will be completed at the perfect time.
I’m sure you can read this list and see that option 3 is the best one. I can see that too. Unfortunately, I have a lifetime of doing options 1 and 2, so switching to 3 is a bit of a challenge.
In case you too are finding this a struggle, I thought I’d share a few tips that work (when I can convince myself to do them!).
1. Clearly define your intention: What is it that you really want to accomplish? There are lots of layers to our intentions, so try to dig down to the deepest one. For instance, my true intention right now is not just to complete the tasks before me in a successful way, but also to do it in a way that is harmonious with my nature and spirit. Try writing out a one line intention that includes both a personal wish, as well as a soul-driven one. Here’s my core intention to use as an example: “My intention is to empower myself and others through allowing God to work through me in all that I think, say, and do.” Try writing one of your own!
2. Eliminate the clutter on your list: Set aside 10-15 minutes to reflect on exactly what is on your To Do list. For each item, ask yourself why you are doing it. Does it match your intention? Or is it something you’ve always done without really thinking about why? Try to eliminate the items that don’t really want to do (those that don’t match your intentions). Think simple.
3. Take a mental break every 90 minutes: This really makes a HUGE difference in how much energy I have. The trick is to not only physically stop doing what you’ve been doing, but also to take a mental break. You only need to stop for 5-10 minutes, but you can’t keep “thinking” about what you are working on for this to be effective. Try eating an energy bar, taking a stretch break, going outside for some fresh air, repeating an affirmation, or doing a yoga mudra. What you do should be rejuvenating and preferably on your own (so you aren’t still connecting with other people’s energy and stresses). Give it a try! You’ll be amazed how much better you feel.
4. Plan to do less: Do you find yourself rushing a lot? I’ve realized that when I plan to get more done then the time available allows I am constantly in a state of hurry. Be realistic about how much time is needed to complete a task. If you feel you must have it completed in less time then you have, then you need to cut the task down to make it fit the time available. If you still feel you need a To Do list, try keeping it to three items or less. Page long lists are overwhelming and defeating. Keep it at a manageable length and you’ll be glad you did!
5. Let go of control: Intuitively, I am often told to “do what I want to do” when I’m trying to decide what to focus on next. I’ve argued with my Spiritual Support Team about this. Truly, when do I ever WANT to do laundry or clean the toilets? What they have very kindly pointed out is that I do enjoy wearing clean clothes and having a clean bathroom to use and so yes, I do want to do laundry and clean the toilets occasionally. When I quit trying to plot out what I’m going to do when, I just find myself doing things. Before I know it those most dreaded tasks are done and I’m enjoying the order created from my efforts.
In conclusion, here’s something to ponder…
What if we do live in a Universe that is supportive and kind? What if allowing the Divine to direct our activities in all areas of our lives will lead to more peace, less worry, and the space to truly relax and just be?
We already know that options 1(hamster wheel) and 2 (worrying) don’t work. Maybe its time to have a little faith in the Universe and surrender…not only the “to do” list, but the part of us that refuses to give up the illusion of control. I know that when I do surrender, life flows instead of stalls. I’m all for more flow in my life. How about you?
Nancy Nicholas is an Intuitive Life Coach and owner of Sanctuary at the Crossroads, Crossroads Coaching, and Empowering Lightworkers. For a free Divine Purpose Survey and information on Empowerment Readings, Empowerment Products, and the Sensitive Person and Lightworker Mentoring Programs, visit Nancy’s website: http://www.EmpoweringLightworkers.com.