Ditching the to-do list

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I love a to-do list. I love lists in general, but a to-do list is one of my favourites. Since having children, the only thing I have found that helps me from being driven mad by my ‘mumnesia’ is a to-do list (there’s more about this in my previous post ‘From Baby Brain to Mumnesia’). My ability to remember even the simplest of tasks appeared to take a downward spiral from the moment I became pregnant with my first child. He’s now 6 and the mumnesia is showing no signs of disappearing. So now I rely on my faithful to-do lists to try to bring a smidge of organisation to the chaos of family life.

But not today. Today I am ignoring the mountain of growing items on my to-do list in favour of doing nothing. OK, that’s not completely accurate since I’m writing this blog so I am technically doing something, but instead of looking for pet insurance, searching for a new oven, sorting through a pile of papers the height of Mount Everest and whatever else is currently on the list, I have decided to do very little today. The problem is, I can’t help but feel guilty about taking time out knowing that I have so much to do. And I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling like I should always be doing something. But today I am going to ditch the guilt and the to-do list in favour of bringing some well-needed calm to my life.

If like me, you have just survived enjoyed half term with your children, then you’ll know how I am feeling this morning. I decided to take the full week off work to spend some quality time with them. In my madness (or mission to prove I am still a fun mum), I had made plans for every day of the half-term break. We had trips to the cinema, theatre, museums, three Halloween parties (yes, three!) and play dates galore. I have loved having my kids at home for the week and spending time with them but today I am just flippin’ shattered!

As I sat watching Lorraine on the TV this morning, I found my mind wandering to the gazillion things I should be doing and trying to recall everything that was on my to-do list. Then came the guilt. With a list that long, should I really just be sitting there doing nothing?

But, sometimes I just need to stop and do nothing. That may mean taking time out to have a lazy breakfast with Bradley Cooper (sadly that’s not quite as exciting as it may sound – he was being interviewed on the TV), or reading a book and forgetting all about the piles of washing or other chores that need doing. So why do I feel so guilty?

I know I’ll get through my to-do list at some point but that doesn’t stop the nagging feeling that I should be doing something more productive than watching TV. And then it dawned on me – the only person really putting pressure on me to get through my to-list today is me. So what if I don’t order the new oven today or the washing waits until later? Today I just need to stop and take time for me without feeling guilty. So, for now, I’m going to pack away the to-do list and enjoy this rare bit of peace and quiet. And importantly, I’ll try not to feel guilty about it.

The Twinkle Diaries

16 thoughts on “Ditching the to-do list

  1. Lovely post…there’s a certain feeling of being a tad rebellious looking at the laundry basket overflowing and the long to-do list and saying ‘no,not now!’ and having a much needed pause without feeling any guilt. Guilt is the most useless of emotions, disabling and disempowering so ditch the guilt and enjoy some self-care, the laundry can wait!

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  2. Wow, three Halloween parties! You enjoy your day, sounds like you’ve earned it (even if it does include watching Lorraine). Mugs of tea and put your feet up, enjoy!

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  3. Why is it we always feel so guilty? We need time out, we need to recharge, yet we beat ourselves up. Growing up and watching my parents they never stopped and I feel like I should be that way, but I don’t like being that way, I like ‘me’ time, does that make me selfish? No I think we should look after ourselves. You enjoy your time out!

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    • It’s crazy that we feel guilty about taking time out when it’s so important for our well-being. My November resolution is to work on getting more me-time without the guilt 🙂 Hx

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  4. I did this yesterday….its actually quite stressful not looking at my to do list. Still managed to get some stuff done like a you a blog post!! Also 3 months worth of expenses…result..a job I have been putting off for..hmmm 3 months:-)

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    • I think just taking the pressure off makes us more productive! I’ve ditched the to-do list a few times now and like you, manage to get stuff done. Still manage to ignore the pile of laundry though 😉 Hx

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  5. A great post – I can totally relate. Sometimes you just need to slow down in order to speed up again (oh but dear Heavens the guilt and the knowledge that the to do list will have trebled by the time Real Housewives has finished). #twinklytuesday

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    • I’ve had a few hectic weeks where I found I haven’t even had time to write a to-do list. I’m still playing catch up! But it made me realise I can’t completely ditch the to-do list! Hxx

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