Reinventing your To-Do List for more Fulfillment

Image by Ana Tavares

Image by Ana Tavares

Sometimes my husband is so wise. Actually, he is wise most the time. If you know us you may have heard me refer to him as the ‘Sattvic Sage’ because he is so cool and calm all the time and will hit you with a truth bomb out of no where that changes your whole perspective-ha!

Anyways- I digress a bit. This wisdom he offered to me came after I had a mini-melt down somewhere in the throws of cancer season. It had to do with my current inner work on creating a work/life flow that feels good and I was feeling really pitiful about how many things I do before doing the things I really want to do.

Maybe this is a habit you have- where the to-do list is made, there are both the things that need to be done and then the things you want to do. You think, ‘hmm, if I just knock out the things I need to do (laundry, dishes, bills, whatever that may be), then I will have allll the time to do what I want to do.’ And then 3 hours later you still haven’t gotten through your ‘needs’ list and you feel mildly resentful of how you never have time to do what you want. This isn’t just me, right? #pittaproblems

It had been like 2 weeks of this behavior in a row and the frustration was bubbling forth in full force and he turns to me and says …

‘What if you make two lists. The first being your priorities that make you feel fulfilled that must be done first. The second list is all the other things that can be done whenever the others are complete.’

It was so simple but also just what I needed.

So for the last two weeks I have been playing with a new to-do list system. It is broken down into three categories:

  • Fulfillment List: The things that I WANT to do this day. These are the things that when my head hits the pillow I can think ‘wow, what an amazing day’.

  • Nurture List: These are the things that need my loving attention- our pug Stella (because she is pretty high maintenance these days), our plants and balcony garden, and quality time with Nate.

  • Household List: These are the things that keep our home running but can definitely be pushed back behind fulfillment and nurturing.

I also stopped planning my week ahead in SO Much detail ahead of time. I was locking myself into tasks that didn’t always align with my energy that day. So some days, doing laundry is a fulfillment task because I love having clean clothes and seeing an empty laundry bin. Some days there is zero housework involved and it lets me be more guilt free. It is easier for me to not have something on my list at all then to let it go uncrossed off. Again, this is the pitta nature in me!

This process has made me happier day to day, has given me a better sense of freedom, and it has opened up great conversations between Nate and I on the workloads we have around the house and how we could redistribute some of the responsibilities to lighten my plate.

Do you have methods of keeping your weekly planning more light and joyful? How do you make sure you have time for the fulfilling things in life?