Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tip of the day...

Something I recently started doing and I can already tell has made a huge difference in the way I approach every day is to stop looking at the clock. In all honesty, the number one thing that "stresses" me out is to have a constant feeling like there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything that I need to get done. I obsessively write to-do lists, cram in as much as I possibly can within a single day, go to sleep, wake up, and do it all over again the next day. And I wonder why I feel like I'm constantly running a marathon! Yikes. It's exhausting to have these feelings of "but this has to get done today! When will I finish? What happens if it doesn't get done this second?!" Etc. So I decided that the number one priority for myself, to make each day more manageable and positive, is to eliminate these created feelings of "stress" and exhaustion. In doing so, I find that I am more able to enjoy moments of every day, rather than "time." I've started to ignore the concept of time altogether and have committed myself to not counting down to things, and to think twice before saying that I "can't wait" for something. Why do we always feel impatient for the next great event in our lives? What is stopping us from enjoying and savoring every moment - whether or not it's the best day ever or we are doing something we absolutely love? Because you know what? Right now, it's NOW. It's not next Monday, or June 1, or Christmas. It's not the day I win the lottery, or save the world, it's today. This second. This moment. So why not enjoy it? Cut yourself some slack and take time to enjoy this exact moment no matter where you are. Eliminate thoughts about later today, tomorrow, next week, month, year.... you'll find that you are much more relaxed and willing to just let be what may be.

Since this idea of ignoring time doesn't exactly eliminate all of my responsibilities (the laundry still needs to get done, I still have to figure out what I'm going to pack, I didn't order my books yet...) I have come up with a system for making sure that I am still on track with everything but not obsessing over "when" and "how."
  • Take a few minutes in the morning to write one list of the things you would like to accomplish at some point during the day. Don't worry about when, or in what order, or the details, just make a simple list. This way you aren't spending the entire day creating more things that you have to do, and you can relax knowing that you already have an idea.
  • Instead of spending each task thinking about when the next one will get done, or when there will be time to do the 17 other things you "need" to finish, enjoy what you're doing. You have to clean the apartment? Put on a good playlist to help you relax and not loathe every second of scrubbing the floor or vacuuming, or whatever it is.
  • Live by each moment of the day, and not be each second, minute, or hour. Stop thinking about days and weeks in terms of time limits. Instead, focus on the moments. The moment that you woke up to a sunrise. The moment that you called your best friend. The moment that you checked something off your to-do list. It makes a big difference.
  • Lastly, cut yourself some slack. Does it really matter that you didn't finish cleaning? Is it the end of the world that you didn't run all of your errands? Life is still happening - regardless of if you're stressed to the max about this and that, so you might as well relax, and enjoy it for what it is.
How about you? Any tips that you have for getting your "to-do's" done or eliminating stressful feelings in your life?


  1. This is a really good post Candice! I agree with your thought process on this .. and love the part about cutting yourself some slack.

    One thing I do is "compartmentalize" routine things:

    - clean off the counter when I get home from work
    - load the dishwasher before I go to bed
    - do laundry on the weekend

    I jot down important to-do's on sticky notes or most of the time I make it a calendar entry on my Blackberry.

    And, I haven't worn a watch in 15+ years which helps to not obsess over time.

  2. you comment on mine so ill comment on yours (scratch my back and ill scratch yours) good post. i like reading this everyday and i'm exited cause this is a way for us to say in touch as well!

  3. Thank you both for the comments! I love hearing from you and Colt I am glad that you started a blog I LOVE it!!!! :)

  4. I really liked the concept that Live each and every second of our lives :)

  5. Time does not exist....all we have is this moment and how we choose to live it.

  6. Thank you Raj and Mom for your input. :)