We all know that feeling. In fact, for many of us it is a constant theme looping uncontrollably through our lives.
I’ve got so many things to do!
You keep telling yourself this. You tell everyone else, especially those who want to add to your never-ending to-do list.
This state of mind stops you being able to relax. For the moment you take leave of that mental task list, it nags at you, telling you that “There’s so much to do and you’re wasting time!”
It’s uncomfortable and agitating. It causes you to become irritated, restless and on edge.
No matter how adept you are at calming your mind, be it through meditation or other form of mental relaxation, we all occasionally get drawn into the “so much to do” stress zone. Having a demanding work schedule and young family, I am certainly no exception.
So, in one simple swipe of mindfulness, here is how I cope with the stress of my monkey mind constantly reminding me of all these things I need to do.
I say to myself, out loud:
If I stress about these things, they will take longer to do and I won’t enjoy doing them.
If I try to rush through these things, I won’t do them to the best of my ability.
If I worry about these things, I will be so caught up in the anxiety of getting them done that I will miss out on the reward of doing them.
Whether I get these things done or not, there will always be other things ready to take their place and cause me further stress.
Remember that the best doing is always dependent on our ability to be present, because the most productive doing comes out of being. If that sounds a little vague, this is just another way of describing “being in the zone”.
Don’t force your way through life frantically trying to tick things off your to-do list. This is a fruitless, tiring, stressful way to live; because the more you desperately try to tick off, the more you’ll despair at its defiant growth.
Release the stress. Brush it off your shoulders.
Just do what needs doing, as and when you can do it. Don’t rush through a task on the basis that you must finish as quickly as possible because other stuff needs doing. This approach is likely to make a task take longer, and make it far less enjoyable.
Take your to-do list in your stride and take pride and enjoyment in even the simplest of tasks.
There is no reward to be found in stressing and rushing around, but there is a sanctuary of peace to be found in going steadily and mindfully with a pure awareness of your actions.