One Thing A Day

I may not be busy, but my schedule remains robust. Because of this, there are days (most days) when I feel more controlled then enabled by the lists I keep of tasks and errands that need attended to.  Sure, some of them can maybe be skipped—the kitchen table doesn’t have to have a new centerpiece except if you saw it you would agree that yes, it does—but most are things that, sooner or later, need to get done.

A small example from the list I’m currently hauling around:

  • Call my bank because I entered the wrong password one too many times and am now locked out of my account
  • Take my car in to be cleaned
  • Replace the hand towel holder by my bathroom sink which requires paint and spackle
  • Trim the bushes around the patio
  • Go through the towering in-box by my desk
  • Plan visits to see my dad and sister
  • Buy new towels and sheets
  • Ask for a PTO form at work so I can get my ass to the beach
  • Take Snowball to the vet for a checkup
  • Return Cindy’s book to her
  • Call the exterminator before the ants take over and hold me and my cat hostage

A nd so on.

Each day I look at my list and think, “I’m going to plow through everything on this today.” And then work is exhausting, I need to get a run in, or I dive into a good book and I think, “I deserve a night off. I’ll tackle all that tomorrow.”

But what I’ve started doing is requiring only of myself that I do ONE THING each day. It doesn’t even have to be a full thing. (For those of you familiar with Sark, think micromovements.) For example, maybe all I do is call and schedule Snowball for the vet. Or purchase spackle. Or text Cindy and say, “Hey, I’ve got your book.” The point is that each day, I do something that moves me toward my goals. (I use this in writing, too, but today we’re dealing with the more mundane in life, like making sure there’s toilet paper in the house.)

Life, I find, is much easier when I’m nicer to myself in this way. No matter how much I really, really, really don’t feel like doing anything at all, I can always find one teensy-weensy step that I’m willing to take that lets me off the hook, mentally. “I did something,” I think.  “Even when I didn’t want to. Yay me.”

Today it was calling the bank. I almost didn’t. It was getting close to five and I was giving myself reasons why it would be so much better to call tomorrow. But I didn’t want to wake up tomorrow with even the minor stress of knowing I still had to deal with it, so, I dealt with it.

Plus, action breeds action. I’m on such a high from the bank win, I may go tackle that in-box. Or I could save it for tomorrow.

Keep your options open, people.