Rethinking the To-Do List

I don’t usually look back at what I’ve written in my journal. As I was about to turn the page before going to sleep, my eyes caught a glimpse of what I’d written that morning.

  • Three things I’m grateful for
  • Three most essential tasks for the day
  • Other tasks that aren’t as important

Writing down the above is a relatively new practice I’ve incorporated into my morning routine. While it does help set an intention for the day, I didn’t realize how powerful it would be to look back at what I’d written once the day was done.

I got two out of three essential tasks done, and most of the rest. I guess I couldn’t finish the job.

Does that mean it was an unsuccessful day? I thought about the parts of my day I didn’t prepare for. It’s the time between the to-do’s that make life worth living.

I walked outside three times and felt the warm energy of the sun. I became a part of nature.

I did my best to lift others up who maybe needed it more than I’ll ever know.

I breathed as deeply as I possibly could and listened to the birds outside the window. I became the air.

Time stopped when I put food into my body; I tasted sweet and salty; my mouth came alive. I felt the gift of nature become a part of me.

I thought; I changed.

I stopped moving for a moment and marveled at the stars.

I overcame self-doubt and truly felt the reaction in my body when my spirit lifted and the pressure eased. I felt present, knowing I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Knocking off to-dos makes us feel productive. But maybe we can focus on reaching an emotion, a feeling, or having an experience every day, too.

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