Remember last week when I wrote about habits I was glad I started?
Well there's one thing I wanted to add to that post.
I try not to have more than one big thing on my to-do list each day. One project that I know is going to take up the bulk of my mental space, my time, and my energy. This might be an organization project or a craft or a writing project or a shopping trip or volunteering at the kids school, or... you name it. Whatever it is, it takes more than 15 minutes to do, and would not be considered a mindless task.
I used to try to squeeze as many activities on my to-do list as there were lines on the page. But I found that not only was I not doing them all, I was going to bed each night defeated over what I hadn't done. Better to aim for one big(ger) thing to accomplish each day, coupled with some other smaller, non time-consuming things-- little 15 minute things I can check off with ease.
Limiting myself like this has made me happier-- maybe a little lazier, but happier. And I'll take lazier for happier and call that a good trade. I like freeing myself up from stress. I like giving myself permission to not go so hard every single day. I like rest. I like to relax. And I like to forgive myself for the things I can't get to instead of beating myself up for the things I didn't.
I figured out the rule of the one thing. And yes, I do hear Curly from City Slickers every time I think of it:
I figured out the one thing rule, and it made my life much easier. One big thing a day, and let the rest go.