Teeny tiny itty bitty steps.

I Have No Idea

.

I’m really really really bad at making comprehensive task lists.

And I really wish I weren’t but I am and I just have to deal with it.

.

I am not the type of person who relies on them to accomplish a set of assignments, mostly because I jump around from item to item. It is extremely difficult for me to focus on one thing at a time, for various reasons.

I have tried Wunderlist, Google Task, notebook after notebook after notebook, agendas, day books, virtual post its, the notepad on my phone, Gmail, and probably a few more.

If these things work for you, that is awesome. May you be prolific in your daily, weekly, and monthly vocations! I will be sitting alongside you among a litter of partially finished tasks, offering an encouraging smile and a pen if you happen to lose yours.

But if you are like me and to-do lists just aren’t your thing, there is one list that can help. It’s the “things I have already done and should feel proud of” list. It’s basically the golden star sticker of lists, a happy pat on the back to calm your nerves.

you tried

This may not seem like such a huge deal but it is. While people who are good at to-do lists are happily rewarding themselves with check marks or strikethroughs (visual representations of their burdens being lifted off their chests) we’re sitting here thinking about all the things that still need to be done.

Which is okay! And sometimes productive! But other times it can feel heavy, and for those with increased risk of anxiety (another thing that is sometimes okay and sometimes productive) it can become a huge source of self-doubt and misery. So I find that writing down the things you have already accomplished can place them in front of you, ready to be skimmed in the event that your brain starts to short circuit.

It can help turn,

“oh no I don’t do anything I never get anything done, I am so useless and lazy!”

into:

“okay well I already did this, this, this, and this, so what is something else I can do?”

The key to this, is breaking things down into very small portions. For example, my husband and I are putting together an immigration file. It needs MANY MANY MANY things in order to be completed. It is overwhelming to think about most of the time, so here is what my Things I have Already Accomplished List looks like:

  • printed necessary forms
  • bought supplies for finished file contents
  • finished form IMM1234
  • finished form IMM5678
  • scanned all of husband’s IDs
  • scanned all of my IDs
  • scanned cutesy letters for proof
  • sorted through Instagram photos for proof

And it goes on and on like that. What’s great about this is the smaller the items, the longer the list grows, and so does the feeling of accomplishment. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of self-deprecation when you’re doing something, especially a larger something, because you don’t get any immediate rewards.

It’s okay to feel stuck sometimes, but there’s always wiggle room. And you might be surprised just how many little steps you have been taking throughout your day to get where you want to be.

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~ by Moonstruck on August 26, 2015.

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