Saturday, August 27, 2022




We all have 24 hours in a day. That can't be changed. What can be changed is how we spend the time available to us. It is a matter of prioritizing. I am not saying that it is not a good thing to have a 'to-do' list. I am the QUEEN of making these lists. And, now I will openly admit if I did not get through all of my list, I would just mentally beat myself up, even in retirement. I knew that this had to change. The world did not come to a grinding halt if I did not get something on my list complete. There is always tomorrow. No little elf is going to come in and magically do it for me overnight.

Now let me be clear on this topic. I am now retired. Really, I do not know how I worked and still managed to get things done around the house, along with appointments and just ME time or OUR time. Let's back up and give me a chance to talk about the 'to-do when working in the 9 - 5 world. (I say that lightly because my world, nor my husband's world was 9 -5. It was more like 7am - 5 or 6pm. I am sure we were not alone.) 

There comes a time when we had to make decisions. My way may have been different from his or yours. That is ok. Just find your own comfort zone. I put a plan for my next day in place at the end of each day. That way, I knew if it was urgent to be at work at 7 or could I scrunch it in at 7:15? It was a matter of prioritizing based on what my supervisors wanted and their deadlines. If it happened to be too much for one person to handle then I had a choice of delegating something out or giving them a call to ask which was highest on their priority list since I could not possibly do it all.

There has to be some time in the day to have some ME time. For example, my husband used walking the campus at work for some walking meetings. It gave him the exercise that he needed, the fresh air, as well as talking out strategies for marketing. The expression of killing two birds with one stone fits this plan very well. For me, as an assistant principal, I liked to just wander into classrooms and read to some students, or just watch, not evaluate. Kids really do bring out the best in others and can make us see how there are times to just find our own happy moments. It puts everything else on hold for a moment and that is empowering. 

Always find a way to choose joy and happiness within your days. My desk is full of petty post-it notes of do this and do that. It does not mean that I couldn't take a moment to breathe and feel joy. Doing something creative like writing my blog and soon finishing up my novel and also the pictures that I have wanted to paint are all things that bring me joy. When I taught first grade and the thing to do was Center Work, I had a station set up of the Must-dos and the Want-to-dos. Each student could make their own choices. I thought it was a great skill to learn. I was always sure that there were enough Must-dos so that I could check to be sure each child grasp the skill. The other to-dos were for fun, like finishing up a puzzle, an art work project, the dress-up center etc. 

It all boils down to how we spend the time we have. We all can't just go around and not do what does have to eventually be completed. It is all about thinking about time...and how we want to spend it. 

First of all accept that your to-do list will never be done one time in any one day. If it is then, by golly-gosh, go celebrate.

Secondly, learn to say, NO more often. You will regret it less when you learn this rule. Breaking up focus time into larger blocks of time to not be distracted is another good way. After that time is your time for a while. It is a matter of trying to do everything on your list before you can have any time for what you truly want to do.

This is my perfect to-do list! Try it. You may like it?



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