I’m always filling my to-do list with things I need to do (hence the name, I suppose). But, sometimes it’s important to take stock of the things we actually need to do less of. In theory, that gives us more time to do the things we should be doing, right? So, after much thought, here’s what I should be doing less of in my life.
Comparing Myself to Others
This has been a long-rooted habit for most of my life. Call it perfectionism. Call it a competitive streak. Call it what you will, but I’m constantly judging my accomplishments compared to others’ accomplishments. That’s not fair to anybody. Not only do I firmly believe that we’re each our own special snowflakes, and hence on our own journeys, but I can’t tell you how many friendships I’ve ruined or squandered because I was jealous and felt like I wasn’t up to that other person’s standard… WITHOUT THEM EVEN KNOWING I WAS DOING IT. And at the end of the day, does it really matter what one person does and another person doesn’t? Not really. So, this needs to stop.
Caring What Other People Think of Me
This one is a little tougher to rationalize because I’m such a people-pleaser and have an overwhelming need for people to like me (you guys like me, right?) But it has also been a major hindrance in my life because I’ll often do things I don’t agree with because I’m so concerned about what other people will think or say, without giving much credence to my own feelings or thoughts. Besides, most people are way too invested in themselves and their own lives (as they should be!) to really give much thought to what I’m doing.
Putting Others Needs Before My Own
Again, it boils down to my need to people-please and wanting people to like me, but I will so often put others’ needs before my own, which leads to nothing but resentment (not good!) I will say, as I’ve gotten older I have learned how to prioritize a bit better and realize that I need to be mu number one. But, I’m not going to lie, there’s still the times that I will agree to do something knowing it will mean spending less time with my husband or dog or bed, just because I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.
Spending Time on Social Media
Pretty self-explanatory for the obvious reasons: it’s a time-waster, it leads to FOMO and jealousy, and it’s no substitute for actual interaction. My job is already restricting as to how much time I can spend on social media, but I’ve also implemented a “no facebook” and “no twitter” rule during the weekends. I’ve found it makes me so much happier, even if I worry friends are angry about my lack of “likes” and “favorites.” But then again, we could always get lunch and see each other face-to-face, and that’s so much better than a click of a button anyway.
Trying to Check Off Everything on my To-Do List
This whole blog post started with me realizing my to-do list was ridiculous and overwhelming and had me asking myself the question: Do I really need to do all this stuff? (For the record, the answer was “not really.”) I think for a long time I felt so defined by my to-do list (I was the girl with the lists, after all!) that I felt beholden to them. But, that’s just silly. It doesn’t help with productivity and do I really want to be known as the girl with the lists? How about the talented writer? Or the woman with the heart-of-gold and amazing wit (hint, hint). And just because I haven’t checked off everything on my to-do list doesn’t mean I’m lazy or not productive… it probably just means I need to figure out what to do less of. And I can come up with at least five things on that list.