How to Identify Tasks From Your To Do List That Can be Eliminated
My wife’s mother Peg, passed away recently. I watched my wife and her family wrap up the personal affairs of this dear woman. The family ended up disposing of all but a handful of documents from Peg’s desk, which was overflowing with paper. I’m sure that just a few weeks before Peg would have objected vigorously at the suggestion that much of that paper was unnecessary. I was struck by how little her children kept and everything else was shredded. It was a powerful reminder to me of how I most likely exaggerate the importance of much of my activities in life.“Don’t sweat the small stuff and its corollary, It’s all . . . small stuff.”
Guess what? That’s what your life may look like to someone else who finds it necessary to step into your shoes. Each of us perform tasks that can be eliminated without any effect whatever to the balance in our lives. The enemy of peace and serenity is our ego. Our ego fears death just like we do, even more so. There is no need for an ego in a mind at peace. Therefore, ego is going to do all it can to convince you of its importance. The way it does this is with fear, worry, chaos and mental noise.
It is to the ego’s advantage to inflate the importance of tasks. Many of the tasks on your mind do not need to be done at all and can be left to die of their own lack of energy. They are just exaggerations of your ego. But ego will scream and holler like a stuck pig when you attempt to abandon those tasks. It uses self talk very effectively to convince you that there will be dire consequences.
It is all lies . . . you can take back control of you life from your ego. The way to do that is to begin to identify those tasks that can be completely eliminated from your mental radar. Start with small very low risk tasks and work your way up to bigger and bigger tasks, soon you will be finding all kinds of time and peace of mind that you never knew existed.
You can reduce your burdens at work or at home by eliminating activities that no longer contribute to your job or personal well being. They might have value to someone else but they are not useful to you. Your time is valuable and you must be the master of how spend your time. Let’s look at some activities that you can eliminate.
Gather together any existing planners, to-do lists, calendars or notes that you may have from the past seven days. (If you don’t have any, try to reconstruct them from memory). Now go back through them and begin looking at each activity, asking yourself the following question, “If I had not engaged in this activity, what would have been the effect upon my life balance?” If you’re honest, you’re going to come across some that the answer is, “nothing at all.” Make a list of all of the tasks, activities, and duties, which you have participated in, that you have answered “nothing.”
How many did you come up with? If your list is less than 10, you’re kidding yourself! You’re taking yourself and your responsibilities too seriously; nobody is that important. Remember, it’s all . . . small stuff.
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