Plans, plans, plans.
A fabulous inquirer came to our session feeling overwhelmed with the need to make plans.
Travel, moving, children, dates, taxes, finishing that thing, negotiating a raise or improvement at work.
Plans appear to fall into a few different categories, I have found.
There are the daily to-do’s.
Laundry, taking out the garbage, going through your email Inbox, grocery shopping, gassing up the car, filling out the form for your kid’s field trip, passport application, paying bills, writing the daily blog post.
Then there are a little more wide, expansive to-do’s.
Making that doctor’s appointment, completing your taxes, researching places to stay in Scotland next August, writing job-hunt emails, setting up power-lunch dates, finishing the 2015 business growth plan.
Then maybe really, really big to-do’s.
Bucket list to-do’s or major project to-do’s.
Finish my book, repair the roof, complete landscaping of the yard, new car, colonoscopy, writing out 10 year plan, difficult conversation with sibling, prepare your will, attend the School for The Work with Byron Katie.
The thing is, no matter what time-line is underway….
….plans can be strangely stressful.
The thought pops in “I need to get that handled” and then more thoughts about how much work it is to get that handled, and the putting off of handling it.
An uncomfortable procrastination.
The inquirer I was working with read me her long to-do list. She reported that just in the reading of it, she felt calmer.
And then we looked at the question….would you be without the belief that the to-do list is a too-much list?
Without the thought that it’s sooooo hard, you can’t even begin, it’s too much pressure, that the short-term to-do’s take up all your time and the long-term to-do’s don’t ever happen?
You might get excited!
You might join with that list and say….OK, let’s prioritize.
Which thing first?
One of my favorite books is David Allen’s “Getting Things Done”. It rocks.
It’s how you might be, the next step you would take, if you think your to-do lists are too crazy long and too hard to manage.
You’d get some help, you’d organize which things really need to be on this list, and which can get kicked off, you’d start at the top. you’d put some stuff on your calendar.
And you wouldn’t be procrastinating anymore.
Last year, I said every so often “I need to clean out the shed.”
My mind would think of it, I’d feel anxious–yes, I should clean out the shed–but I’d pass it by and move to the next thing.
Until. I remembered to notice the anxiety.
Right! Time for the work!
Without the thought that cleaning the shed is a problem, I put it on my calendar to take up an entire weekend 5 months later, during the summer. I announced to family members it was happening. I arranged a truck to borrow all those months away.
Then….I NEVER thought about how I need to clean out the shed again, until the proclaimed weekend arrived in August and it was all energy, all the time, on cleaning that shed.