Jewels: I’m back from our whirlwind trip to Iowa to visit the folks. Now I’m busy playing catch-up with clients, and working furiously on getting the new website ready to launch, so I’m extremely grateful to this week’s guest blogger, Sarah Finks for sharing her expertise and invaluable advice with this die-hard to-do list junkie!

Julie Anne Rhodes: a confessed to-do list junkie

Sarah: To-do list’s are so familiar to all of us, especially women. We use these lists to create order in our lives at home and at work. Nothing would get done without our to-do lists. But have you crossed the line and become a to-do list junkie? Several years ago I realized that I had crossed over and had in fact become a hard core user.

Do you find yourself thinking of your to-do list all the time? When you are spending time with your kids are you secretly mentally modifying your list? In a boring meeting at work? While your partner is sharing their daily troubles with you? Where is your mind? I found that more often than not my mind was on my list. If given a chance in any of those moments I would have happily escaped just to cross one little thing off of my list. It was my way of feeling like I was in control of something.

But here is the cold hard truth, if you are spending most of your time thinking about your list and not being present in the moment you are missing out on life. It’s like watching television and trying to read a book at the same time. Your to-do list is your book, where you really want to be. And your life is the television. This is when you have crossed over into a “to-do list junkie”

Seems like a harmless little habit, right? You tell me, how much of your life are you really paying attention to. I know when I am trying to read and the television is on I miss most of the plot and most of the dialogue. So if you are operating like this in your life. Just think about how much you are actually missing. No wonder you feel disconnected and alone. You are, you are using your list as a way of escaping your life.

Also thinking constantly about your list doesn’t actually get things crossed off of it. I wish it did, but the truth is it doesn’t. So here are a few tips to help you kick the habit and start to show up in your life.

1)  Schedule- Pick a time each day or week and plan out exactly what you are going to get done. Write it down in your planner and stick to it.

2)  Decide- Make a decision that you will no longer escape to your list. It will be a challenge at first since this has become your happy place. But when you find your mind wandering there. Just become aware when you catch yourself doing it. And change the channel in your mind to what is actually happening in front of you.

3)  Think Long Term- When sitting down to make your to-do list, make sure that each of your tasks is supporting your long term goals. If it doesn’t try taking it off your list, asking someone else to do it, or hire someone.

Remember it is through thinking long term, supporting your goals each day, and showing up in the world that you will begin to change current situation. What do you think? Are you a to-do list junkie? Where do you find yourself using the most?

Jewels: Moral of the story? Make time to give your undivided attention to family and friends, and at very least – leave the grocery lists up to me, the Personal Chef Approach™ has got your back.

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