Regardless whether I’ve scheduled my to-dos digitally or scribbled a list on the back of an envelope, to-dos tend to be daunting and sometimes even make me physically uneasy. Why? Working off to-dos is often frustrating as there seems to be no end to our lists, and sooner or later we wonder whether that really was the entire purpose of our life.
Usually, we begin the day by asking, “What do I need to do today?” But there is a more rewarding question we could ask ourselves instead: “What do I want to be today?”
Lauren Rosenfeld and James McMahon present us with an enticing change of perspective in their book “Your To Be List: Turn Those Dreaded To-Do’s Into Meaningful Moments Every Day”.
Their idea, in a nutshell, is for you to carve out some time to define what kind of person you really want to be, what you want to get good at in your life. Would you like to be more compassionate? Creative? Loving or grateful? Find your answers and then use your to-do list as a field of practice for these attitudes of mind.
Shifting gears when suddenly in a situation, where we could or should forget about all those tasks on our lists and are supposed to be truly creative, relaxed or compassionate is not that easy, after plowing through demanding to-do lists day after day.
When you live by “Your To Be List”, you will be able to offer deep compassion to a friend in need, because you practiced being compassionate to the elderly woman at the park who wanted to tell you about her bad knees. And you can truly let your creativity flow at that water coloring class because you have been practicing at being creative while helping your kids with their homework.
Working with a to-be list, you will find many opportunities in your day’s to-do list to practice your „To Bes“ and suddenly every moment has the potential to become a what-life’s-all-about moment.
Katrin Heggli is the founder of TheSmarterPlace, the online hub for all things home, helping people organize and manage their home digitally. You can find more information about her and her business, TheSmarterPlace, at www.thesmarterplace.com