Ditch your To-Do List.
Get more done.
This is for you, my Type A friends-
You plan and organize everything
The mere idea of tossing your to do list is blasphemy
But I am here to tell you how your to do list can get in your way of productivity
First of all, none of this is your fault
But rather stems from our belief as a society
That doing more is good and doing less is bad–
This ethos by the way, is also the reason why we have been so hugely successful as a nation.
That belief is also perpetuated in Medicine.
A “good doctor” should devote a significant amount of time and energy to perfecting her craft.
You then begin to associate productivity with being “good” and underproductivity with being “bad”
you begin to judge yourself on your productivity on a moral basis.
When you execute that To-Do List perfectly-how do you feel?
Accomplished? Proud? Satisfied?
Most importantly, How do you feel in periods where you are less productive or not productive at all?
If you are constantly judging your productivity you may feel shame or guilt.
Do these thoughts come up for you?
“I should be doing more” Or “I need to get more done, I can’t take a break” Or “I still have so much to do”.
Guilt and shame never feel good in the body
you feel exhausted and depleted.
I often hide or avoid when I feel shame or guilt.
Ultimately, you are not working at your best when depleted and if you are avoiding like me, you are not productive at all.
Feelings of guilt and shame can create a constantly moving target-
where you do more hoping that you will feel better
But then shame and guilt inevitably come up again and you keep doing more and more
Doing more is never enough and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy
The problem isn’t that you are not doing enough, the problem is you thinking that you are not doing enough
And not doing “enough” is bad.
Productivity in and of itself isn’t good or bad, it is completely neutral.
Only when we attach a thought to it we make it mean something “good” or “bad”.
I want you to Ditch your To-Do List when you start to feel guilt or shame
Think of productivity instead as a toolbox –To-Do Lists, planners, and organizers as tools-for getting things done rather than a moral issue of right versus wrong or good versus bad.
This work takes deliberate practice.
Start by scheduling at least 15 minutes out of your day for time just for you.
(IF you want to learn how make time just for you, you can get my free guide here).
Start small and then work your way up to as much time as you need.
Expect shame and guilt to show up-that’s completely normal.
Pay attention when it does and ask yourself, what’s going on?
What thoughts are coming up for you?
Are they thoughts like “I should be doing more” or “I should be doing something else”
I should is always a dead giveaway.
Then I want to you to purposely think thoughts that can allow you to enjoy your break like “it’s ok to do nothing” Or “I’ll be more productive if I give myself a break”.
Taking time to recharge, refocus and recalibrate without the negative judgment
makes you energized, more creative and efficient
Good luck my friend.