Thursday, January 24, 2008

Time On My Side, Part 2

When I made my resolution about reevaluating my relationship with time, and lowering my standards of how much I get done with my time, I was on vacation and had less on my to-do list. Now that I am several weeks into January, and have much more on my list, I have found this goal to be much more of a challenge than I had foreseen.

I think the big issue at hand is that I still “assign” myself too much. I am fighting my perfectionist urges (remember, I am a Virgo and first-born child) and trying to keep up with what “needs” to get done all at the same time. It’s a vicious cycle. And I often end up approaching certain tasks joylessly such as, “Oh god, I still need to send a baby gift to so-and-so, and I never seem to have time to sit down and knit that baby washcloth that I am making to give a meaningful gift and save money.” Do you ever have these thoughts? I mean, I seriously stress about this petty stuff!

I think this morning I am heading into my day with the urge to “pare down” my list to what I really feel will truly add value to my life and take me further toward my macro-goals.

I wish to let go of all the micro-management tasks that seem to pile up and send me into a frenzy of “I have so much to do,” which is not a pleasant feeling and often entirely untrue. My husband will often catch me walking through the house with furrowed brow, sighing while deep in thought about all the things I “have” to do. My stress often gets passed on to him, and that is not something I am proud of.

But can I just take things off my list without feeling guilty about not doing them? I know I have control over my thoughts and how I perceive things. But it’s often very difficult to harness those runaway, reeling thought patterns and focus on what is important – to focus on what I have accomplished, not what is left on my list.

Resolutions take time, so I will keep you posted on how I take on this challenge for the sake of bettering the quality of my life – and those around me.

Do you have any thoughts to share about how you perceive time? How do you pare down your list?


Laura Socks said...

i am the exact opposite of you so i'll explain what i do and you can maybe just take a few of those things? maybe it will help.

ok so my internal priorities (i dont' actually make a list) are as follows:

1. human interaction
2. health
3. learning (singing too)
4. helping
5. seeing

ok so then as things come my way i think about them and see where they fit into my priorities and if they don't they usually get tossed. it's sad...i have a messy house because that's not a huge top 5 priority for me (i have a clean house when none of my friends needs help or want to hang out or i'm finished at the gym haha). so maybe that will help. sit down, jot down your top 5 (cuz i know you like making list! haha) and then let the rest fall into a "i'll get to it if i can" pot.

good luck!

oh and my priorities change all the time so when they do i re-evaluate my thoughts.

p.s.-with all my social interactions i'm really bad at remembering to take showers! hahahahha. maybe i should put that on my list!

Larissa said...

Hey Laura,
Thanks for the advice. I know you are the complete opposite of me. Maybe that's why we get along so well. We each have advice to offer the other (like song writing!). I actually just bought a book called "How Did I Get So Busy? The 28-Day Plan to Free Your Time, Reclaim Your Schedule, and Reconnect with What Matters Most" I'm excited about it and hope it will offer similar insights to yours. I definitely will make a list of my priorities as you suggested. Thanks again!

hallie said...

i smoke weed! hahaha!

Hallie said...

I was thinking about this topic more and more as I heard folks in my town saying "where does the time go?" or "I don't have time"... and it reminds me of your posts about paring down. SO- this morning I awoke with a huge "to do" list as I packed for a visit to our beloved Idaho. I found myself far beyond the moment-- but remember... all we have is the moment.... the NOW.

I took my list and said "F*@* it!" I grabbed a red pen and began to ravenously cross off task after task. "'Make Valentines for the kids'? REALLY? How about I hug them and tell them I love them and create a dinner that is all red or something instead... this is good- it's getting shorter'.

And then something happened. I walked down the steps to do laundry and found myself immersed in the simple pleasures of daily life. I hung my undies with pride as warm rays of sun smooched my little Valentine face and the scent of blooming acacia trees filled up my heart shaped nostrils. Before I knew it work was upon me- but rather than feel stressed out about not finishing THE LIST... I felt calm and relaxed knowing I did something important by giving myself time to enjoy my NOW.

Larissa said...

Great comment, Hallie. This sounds very similar to experiences I've had when I finally just throw my hands up and cross things off my list that aren't as important as I had previously thought. Thanks for this great story!