Last week I looked at my to do list and felt like a failure. I had put so many things on it, got a few things done on Monday, and that was pretty much it for the week. It was like when you write your New Year’s Resolutions full of inspiration and hope on December 31st and by January 3rd you have completely forgotten about them all because you planned to reinvent yourself in a 24 hour period and then you woke up and you were still the same person needing to take it slow instead of full steam ahead, crazy train. Oh yeah, I do that to myself too by the way, because I am a dreamer. When my sister listened to my Marco Polo about my stupid, crazy to do list, she made a great suggestion, wait for it… MAKE IT SMALLER. Wait, what? But how will I ever get anything accomplished if I aim to do less? Today being Monday again, I thought, “well, I certainly wasn’t getting anything done when I aimed to do more, so maybe I should try for less…” And do you know what I discovered today? LESS IS ACTUALLY MORE!! I wrote 5 items on my to do list and I got every single one of them done and it felt good!
When I had only one item left, I was supposed to be in the middle of my writing time, but I felt blocked so I got up and decided to finish that last task, deep clean the fridge. It truly had not been that long since I cleaned the fridge, but there was an odor and nothing visible to the eye, so I needed to dig and I am glad I did because there were several things that were science experiment worthy. So much so that I only know that they were once food, but I am not sure what kind of food. A teenager watched me dry heave and chuckled. I muttered a, “this fridge is disgusting,” only to hear a snarky, “this whole house is kinda disgusting, ya know what I mean.” Pause there. Who is shaking their heads right now? Who believes that this was the wrong thing to say when mama is up to her eyeballs in moldy, indistinguishable food? Ooh yes, I coulda thrown down at that moment. Instead, I followed up with a thought and a question. First, my thought, my out loud thought- if 5 people live in this house and it is disgusting, it is not up to one person, being me, to take care of said disgustingness, when all 5 people contribute to making it disgusting (FYI our house is not disgusting, FYI my teenager is snarky). Second, my question- what are the items in your room that you use on a daily basis? He named about 5 things. Seems to me that the less stuff we have, the less opportunity there is for clutter and disgusting spaces. In fact, the less clutter I keep in the fridge, the less likely I will be to lose track of things to expiration dates and falling between cracks and becoming unidentifiable (I am going to work on that!).
The word less keeps coming up. I took a webinar a few weeks ago on writing and the number one rule was to think smaller. That baffled me because I always have these great big ideas and plans, but I realized that is where I get stuck. I get stuck there because in order to execute the big plan, you need to break it down into smaller steps and I can’t escape the big picture. Since then, I have been working daily to accomplish smaller tasks in my writing life that will add up to bigger accomplishments later. So, now, the theme for my week… less is more. Less to do’s, less distractions, less disgusting things, less clutter, in order to get more accomplished and have more time for the important things in life. What’s on your to do list today?