Make a list, check it twice

I’m overwhelmed.  I’m tired.  I can’t handle everything.

These are three of my wife’s least favorite things to hear come out of my mouth because they represent my emotions in a downward spiral.  When I get in this mode, it is difficult to see the good in my life — my family, my church, my job, my house.

Sometimes when we get in this mode, it feels like we are never going to get out of it.

My exit strategy is “the list.”

 I need a list that is significant, doable,  and a base for moving forward the next day.

Here is my list for when I am stuck:

1) Do one thing that will help me reach my most important goal ( good for the long term).

2) Do one thing that I have been putting off ( good for reducing stress or facing fears).

3) Do one thing that my wife, children, boss or co-workers will be happy to have done (impact other people).

4) Do one thing that I want to do ( this list is for ME after all).

My list for the next 24 hours looks like this:

1) Go over the feedback from Jordan on one particular short story and submit it.

2) Talk to my neighbors about the fence line so I can get my fence moved before they sell their house.

3) Start the ball rolling on the next edition of the HP-UX recovery handbook.

4) Work on the lineups and playbooks for my football simulation game

Now, I don’t have to worry about the other 250 things on my to-do list tomorrow.  I can do the four above and know that I have made progress in four areas of my life (three significant and two fun — #1 counts for both).

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About kentostby
Kent Ostby is a fiction and efficiency writer who is willing to dabble in just about any other phase of writing as well.

One Response to Make a list, check it twice

  1. Tom D says:

    Just make sure you get to #4… 😉

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