To-Do List Alternative: Giving Ourselves More Credit with I-Did Lists
Maybe you’ve heard of this idea before. This alternative to a to-do list. I know I didn’t make it up. It’s out there, floating around in a variety of forms, I’m sure. However, today is the first time I really made a Did-It List for myself.
This is how it happened.
My First To-Do List I-Did List
One of my lovely friends – Metta of the newly up and awesome blog Perfectly Un-Perfect – posted something to their Facebook expressing her disappointment at how it was an unproductive month. I started to comment with this: “Sigh. Yup.” Then I started to think about the past month. While I didn’t get all the things (or even many of the things) on my to-do lists accomplished, I can’t honestly say I haven’t done a lot to feel happy about. And knowing Metta, an amazing mama who wows we everyday with the things she is able to accomplish with a toddler and a baby all to herself most of the time, that statement couldn’t possibly be true for her, either. So I continued my comment.
“Actually, no. I did a lot if I stop to think about it. I bet you did, too, I think we need to give ourselves more credit. Maybe start writing some “I Did” lists in addition to the To-Do list.
This month I:
– Explored some beaches
– Harvested berries
– Watered the garden
– Played in the yard
– Song songs and read stories
– Met with friends
– Grocery shopped
– Wrote and wrote and wrote
– Snapped meaningful memories with my camera (You can see my favourite captures from last month here.)
– Spent time with family
– Soaked up the sun
– Played my guitar
– Took my girl to the playground
– Signed up for some early learning courses
– Snuggled on the couch with my hubby and some Netflix
– Organized a few things around the house
Seriously. We need these kinds of lists.”
I feel I have even more to add to this list now, so let’s add a few more I-Did items for the last month. You’ll notice many of these represent where I am in my life right now, and what’s important to me: Raising my little girl. Being a mom. I think these kinds of lists are especially important for parents, because there are so many things piling up on our lists, but there are so many valuable things we’re doing that we don’t write on our to-do list.
Settled conflicts between children
Washed messy faces
Fed hungry bellies
Went for lunch dates
Helped a friend. Actually, multiple friends.
Finally played open mic (you can read about that one here.)
Answered many, many toddler questions and encouraged investigations
Enjoyed glasses of wine and these new hoppy cider things (Pretty good, folks. Check them out if you like cider.)
Tucked and snuggled my little love to sleep night after night.
Carefully lathered sunscreen on little arms, legs and faces.
Walked and talked and discovered along the way with my little adventurer.
Made it through frustrations and tough moments without completely losing it.
Made decisions. So many decisions. It’s not my strong suit, but I’m getting better at it.
I’m sure I could keep going on. It’s amazing all the positives you can see when you look back with a different lens.
Now I can’t believe that was the first time I’ve written one of these powerful reminders of what I’ve really done. I’m finding it makes me feel so good when I read it over. That’s exactly the kind of life I want. The one I’m already living. A To-Do list is helpful, but it’s not all there is to accomplishment in life. Focusing on the tasks you have yet to complete can help motivate you to get certain things done, but it can also drag you down with the immensity of everything that you need and want to do. There’s a balance here somewhere, and now I see that also taking the time to focus on the pieces that you didn’t have to write out in a to-do list are just as important – if not more important – than the items you cross off your to-do list.
So what’s on your I-Did list? I encourage you to write your own list, too, to help balance out your to-do list. Trust me, it will help you feel better about who you are and where you are in your present journey. I’d also love it if you feel like sharing your list. Comment below this post, write one on your own blog and leave me the link to it, or connect with me on social media. You can find me at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and even YouTube.
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Live your lives, people, and don’t ever think you’re being unproductive by simply being and doing what comes naturally. You rock! I just know it.