To do lists seem daunting. You start with good intentions and before long you have a list that runs on forever.
How in the world are you supposed to be motivated to get through it all?
As regular fall of the wagon of to do lists,I find myself back in the place of needing them. We’re getting ready to move from the UK to the US as part of our military move. So yes we need to dust off the to do list and fire that list up again.
As you can tell I’m really not excited by the prospect of the to do list because lists and decluttering really drains me ( and many of us!)
But we know we need to do it. I wish it was catching to be energised by to do lists. But it is not. So we have to find the motivation from somewhere.
distraction pursuit of to do lists I came across, “Not to do lists”. Jim Collins in his book- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t and Tim Ferriss in his book- The 4-Hour Workweek both talk about stripping away things you don’t want to do and now you have time to do the things you want to do.
Since we all have the same hours in a day how we choose to use that time is critical. When we look at our parenting and what we do at home we could do with saying no a few more times.
You see the things is we want to be productive, have fun and get things done. We want to be a less busy parent and have time instead of that mantra-, ” I just didn’t have enough time”.
Parents like us find ourselves doing many things that distract us from what we really want to do. Before we can add and make our to do lists of family fun, family habits and family time what is it that we need to slim down on or just stop? What really takes our energy and time in a normal day ?
Focus on one or two of these at a time. I hope they trigger some ideas for you so you can make your own not to do list.
Parenting Not To Do list
1. Do not fill your precious moments endlessly scrolling. Set a time limit and a timer.
All that scrolling adds up. There was a reason you got on to look or do something. Do it and get off. Treat your time like the valuable commodity it is.
2. Do not spend ( much of) your time in the company of people who drain your energy.
Online forums and groups, anonymous commenters, family members, friends of friends- you know your trigger places. You become like who you hang around. Your parents told you that when you were in school and now even as adults we forget. Limit the amount of time you dwell in these situations. You want to be happier, healthier, productive then you need to spend more time with these type of people who will build you up and not tear you down, distract, confuse and depress you.
3. Don’t start the day without a plan.
Yes…it does sound like a to do list. But what I mean is whether it’s the night before or before everyone is awake- take time to decide a focus, a priority for the day. Write or type it- whatever your way but have it there as a testament to what you want to do today. It makes all the difference as you try to get to it than just going with the flow.
4. Don’t keep adding activities and actions into your family without taking some out.
Less is more. But in our pursuit for better we add this one more thing, this new habit. We need to take away, limit and be strong enough to make family decisions that work for our family.
5. Don’t stop seeing, listening, learning and taking action.
- Keep our minds open to new ideas or ways of doing things
- Notice how things works for others and how you might adapt it for your family.
6. Ditch the tap tap tap machine and cultivate that relationship.
Have the self control to have phone, ipad and computer free times during the week and during the weekend. Set reasonable limits and times and slide on down to get more time away. More time with your loved ones. Cultivate those relationships and adapt to the lifestyles of split shifts, night shifts, oncall spouses but find a way.
7. Don’t miss the beautiful people you have in your family while trying to overcome the latest hurdle.
Backchat is something that’s slowly been creeping into our house lately and we’ve been trying to find the cure. As it happens we think of what we should say and do. When the children aren’t around we are wondering. It was consuming us. Then they produce a lovely piece from school or tell a story with such fire that your heart melts. Don’t miss these nuggets of relief and rays of light.
8. Don’t give perfection a safe haven in your home.
If you’re a people pleaser you know what I mean with wanting everything to be perfect in your home ( relationship/ parenting). There’ll always be someone or something better. If we wait on perfection nothing good ever gets done. Dive in. Make your mistakes. Find your happy spots. Done is better than perfect. Do overs are often available. Perfection often paralyses us into no action and lost opportunities.
What is great about moving is the chance for a reset. Complete change to how we parent and do family. Somethings we do are location and culturally dependent . With a new country we get a chance to try something new and decide which things are the most important to us plus decide what we don’t want to do anymore because it’s not good for us right now.
You don’t have to be moving to make your not to do list. Just have a burning desire to be more effective and as a result happier.
Some inspiration to help you with your own- not to do lists
The Not-To-Do List: 9 Habits to Stop Now – Four Hour Work Week
What one thing would you have on your not to do list?