What’s Your Next Move? (And Why Getting Rid of To-Do Lists is So Important) – Buzzy Blogs – Professional Blog Article Writing Services

What’s Your Next Move? (And Why Getting Rid of To-Do Lists is So Important)

​I stopped making to-do lists a long time ago. Not only because Marie Forleo told me the way I was doing it was no good (see why), but also because I hated them so much that I would avoid looking at them - and then forget the actual important stuff I needed to do (like buy dog food and register my son for Harry Potter summer camp).

Where did my detestation for to-do lists start?

Somewhere around the time I had my second child and was knee-deep into running my publishing business (which meant I was pumping out 2 eBooks a week + marketing + managing an international team + breastfeeding + never sleeping + chasing a two-year-old + … all of the other crazy shit us moms do on the daily to keep these babies - and ourselves - alive)…

​I would look at these giant lists with everything I was supposed to that day and feel like I instantly lost. Even if I managed to work uninterrupted from 6am to midnight, there was no way I could ever get it all done.

And, of course, that was just the business to-do list. At one point, I was navigating three separate lists (business, home, family) and beating myself up about not getting to it all on the daily.

These to-do lists, however, were the only way I knew how to keep track of everything that really needed to be done. I was afraid that if I let the to-do lists go, shit would hit the proverbial fan. And I would be left standing with a failing business, screaming babies, and a husband that hadn’t seen my breasts in weeks.

Not good.

So, I did what most women do and I shoved my emotions down. I beat myself up quietly when no one was looking. I cried on the floor of our two-bedroom apartment just wondering when all of the work, all of the to-doing, would finally end.

​And, after several months of this never winning post-it note hell, I gave up.

I sold that business and gave up the dream of being an entrepreneur. I packed up my family (somewhat willingly) and moved us to Colorado in search of a “normal” job and a “normal” life.

And, let me tell you, that normal life sucked.

I hated sitting at a desk when I didn’t have work to do. I hated reporting at a certain time each day and quietly sneaking out the back door an hour before I was supposed to leave because I couldn’t take the monotony any longer.

I guess once you’ve become an entrepreneur there really is no going back.

My family and I moved back to New Mexico and, now pregnant with my third child, I knew I had to figure out another way to manage the day-to-day that comes with being married, having kids, and running a business.

Knowing to-do lists were a no-win zone but needing a way to keep track of what needed to get done, I started implementing a “Top 5” list. I still kept longer to-do lists, but I only looked at them when I needed to. And, when I did, I chose only five things to try to tackle each day - and I made sure that it was a manageable chunk of work. Instead of having three separate lists of the “Top 5” things to do (which would have started to feel impossible again), I put it altogether, knowing that some days would be more work-heavy and other days would be more focused on my family and home.

Suddenly everything changed.

I was ending each day feeling good about what I got done. Instead of torturing myself about what was still left to complete, I celebrated about the steps I was taking to get closer to my goals (no matter how small they might be).

Two years in, I’m less stressed, more organized, and more successful than ever.

​...

The other day I came across a Jen Hatmaker podcast episode (For the Love) with Emily P. Freeman talking about the idea of “the next right thing”. (If you haven’t heard it yet, do yourself a favor and listen right now.) Freeman, who has written a book with that exact title, is a genius when it comes to “uncluttering your soul”, which is exactly what this feels like. Rather than only looking at the big picture and each and every step (or to-do) you have to get there, just focus on “the next right thing”.

For me, this is exactly how I make my Top 5 list each day. And, to be honest, some days my list looks like this:

1. Take a shower
2. Go grocery shopping
3. Move your body outside
4. Write a blog post
5. Call Mom


Of course, there are other days when I tackle a lot of serious shit. But, no matter what, I feel like what I’m doing really is the next best move.

Not sure how to find your next best move?

I spend several minutes each day meditating, breathing deeply in silence, to help get clear. There are a ton of different ways to “get clear”, but this video is one of my favorites if you’re looking for a little guidance:

​So, consider this your official permission slip to tear up that never-ending to-do list and to get focused on the next right thing instead. I promise, you’ll feel so much better - and you’ll have a lot more fun, too.

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