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Shawna Rodrigues 0:00
Are you someone who makes lists? Do you have scribbles on scraps of paper of things that you need to get done? Maybe you have a well organized checklist on your cell phone, or maybe you have a mental list. If you've got a system in place, and to do lists are your jam, then you should probably take the next 10 minutes to listen to your favorite music, meditate, or visualize the amazing things you want to manifest in your life. However, if like me, this is a place where you can get a little stuck or muddled. Or if you want to budge your empathy skills around how the other half of us live, stick around.
Shawna Rodrigues 0:36
I'm your host, Shawna Rodrigues. And this is The Grit Show where our focus is growth on purpose. I'm glad you found us. I hope you subscribe and become a part of our community. On Tuesdays, we have interviews with thought leaders on provoking topics. And today is Thursday thoughts. Just you and me pondering things and sharing stories. This episode is part of our first month of content. So at the end, I'll tell you a little more about a giveaway we are running as part of our launch. But first, back to those to-do lists.
Shawna Rodrigues 1:11
Her relationship with to-do lists has vary greatly over the years. My memory really wants me to believe I've had fairly successful runs with it. Currently, though, hmm, not so much. Earlier this week, I found myself in quite a little spiral over my to-do list. And honestly, I lost more than half of a day due to overwhelm when I was simply encouraged to look into getting my notebook organized onto a computerized system. Just the buckets, just putting down the six different buckets of things, drilling down one of them to the seven involve steps and trying to put due dates on it was too much for me. The person making this recommendation was very well intended. If you know me in real life, I tend to talk myself through things all on my own. This person was trying to bring me back to where I started. Unfortunately, I had already left that thought and move five paces beyond. I tried to honor that and go back to where I started. To this idea that maybe I should look at an online tool I already used, Trello and try to organize my to do list onto this online tool. At least look into it and start the process. That was as committed as I would get. I tend to be pretty good about knowing my boundaries and being aware that this was a pretty sticky spot for me. You see, my to do list is 23 pages. It is a little Steno secretary notebook. Not like college-sized, notebook paper, anything. The 23 pages, my inability to focus to get that done or anything else for most of the day was my binder letting me know that was the wrong choice. Unfortunately, I lost more than a few hours to it. Fortunately, I know my resources and called the right friend on the drive home and had a great talk with my partner once I got home. My partner was really good about putting into perspective for me that until he met me, he did not understand it was possible for someone to have a 23 page to do list. And for to all be legitimate items needed to be done. Many of you may not identify with that either. Some of you may identify and have never been absurd enough to actually write all of those items down.
Shawna Rodrigues 3:31
So instead of trying to fit me into the box that the person who was nicely trying to help me and has a very different experience and relationship with the list of things to get done in their world, I really need to just honor me and where I was at, and continued on the path that I'd already gone before they pull me back to my initial thoughts. That I kind of skated by because I knew better than to try and get my 23 pages wrestled into anything.
Shawna Rodrigues 3:58
Let's talk about what does work for me. What does work for me, is I no longer have a to do list. I know I kind of tricked you when we talked about this 23 pages. But what's on the front of that notebook is, things not to lose. It's my things not to lose notebook. That's what it is. Because honestly, of what you have feels more than a piece of paper, it's really no longer a to do list. It's not possible to do that many things. It's the things not to lose list. Second, prioritize. If you're anything like me, that's more like triage. You only handle the things that are absolutely bleeding out. Not the things that needed to be cared for. So prioritize/triage. We'll go into that a little more. Last, let go. That's probably the most important thing of my strategy when approaching the things that I need to get done in my life. I have that things not to lose list, I prioritize no more than three things a day, and I let go.
Shawna Rodrigues 5:04
What does it look like to have a things not to lose list? That means I do have to jot things down. I can hold a lot of things in my brain at once. And if you've heard episode four on bucket list, you'll know that I had a summer with lots of symptoms. One of them being memory loss. And things really did start to fall off the tracks. So it became more important that I had a way to track things. So that's why the things not to lose lists became a little bit more important because I couldn't just hold things in my brain like I once did. The things not to lose list can be handled in a couple of ways.
Shawna Rodrigues 5:40
One way is you could have it divided into different sections. The more areas of life you're trying to balance, the more important it might be to separate things out. So that perhaps I have a spot where I have things not to lose related to my wedding. So I look at that list, when I'm thinking about that, and might have another page or place where I put things not to lose lead to house projects, I might have another place where I put things not lose related to my podcasting, or things not to lose related to tech, because tech is making me crazy so it needs to go somewhere else. I need to settle the lists so I don't want to look at it. But I'm looking at everything else. So that's kind of the thought behind the thing not to lose list.
Shawna Rodrigues 6:20
So with your things not to lose lists, you might also have a calendar that goes with that. That is things that need to happen on certain days or at certain times. And that may be at the beginning of a week, you have a spot where you can just jot down things you want to try to get to that week, and then just note about them to the next week because they're not going to happen. But each day, I literally get out a sticky note and write down the three things that are gonna get done today. And they're usually three big high level items. If by chance I got all those things done, and there was time left over, I do have a constant little list that I can go back to write of the things not to lose, sudden glance over there and see what other things I need to get done. But oftentimes, those things just like crop up my brain of other things to fill the time. And guessing sounds impossible to imagine only getting three things done in a day. For me, that's a really important piece of this. And it's really important because it makes it so that I have to prioritize, and I have to triage and I had to look for the biggest dominoes, the biggest things are going to have the largest effects, so they don't get stuck in the little things in the minutiae.
Shawna Rodrigues 7:29
I'm sure you've all heard the story about the professor and the golf balls, that when you put the sand in and little pebbles, when you try to put the golf balls on top, the golf balls don't fit. When you put the golf balls in first, you can put in the sand and you can put in the pebbles over the top, and everything fits. So that's why you need to find those three things. And they are the three big things that are actually going to move things forward. And you do those things. So you're narrowing to three things, you are narrowing it to the three things that are gonna help move everything else forward. And so if you know that for you and your family, you having healthy food on hand, so you guys can have dinner, or for you personally, you having healthy food on hand is really important than grocery shopping, getting that healthy food needs to be towards the top of that list, because it helps you function for everything else, move that to top of the list. And that is the most important.
Shawna Rodrigues 8:23
All right, we are running out of time. So I'm going to go ahead and wrap things up. And big on finding the right questions and framing, so here we go. It is not a to do list. It is the thing not to lose list. Grab a notebook, put it in your phone, something on your computer, wherever you want to have your things not to lose list, that is great, that is coupled with your phone calendar, your wall calendar, your Alexa, whatever program you find, there's lots of options. Just make sure it works for you. Only three things a day. Prioritize, triage, be ruthless and realistic. If you're having a hard time triaging, ask yourself the questions, what has to be done today? What can I not put off until tomorrow? What will I be most grateful for getting done that will bring me the most joy? What is the one thing that will move forward those things that are most important to me? And focus on those things. Only three, then let the rest go and celebrate. Let the rest go and celebrate. You can say that like three times, okay? Let the rest go and celebrate. That is the most important part. That's the part I cannot do when I'm looking at my 23 pages.
Shawna Rodrigues 9:34
All right. Hopefully, you found some nuggets of wisdom in here and this has been helpful for you. I appreciate you spending time with me today. If you haven't jumped over and followed us on Instagram, please do so @The.Grit.Show. We have 10 coloring books to giveaway this month with the combination of a $50 gift card. Most of this will be done through a giveaway app and all of the links and info will be on Instagram and sent through our mailing list so get hooked up. It might also be on the web but I don't know if you know, but the tech stuff can make me crazy. So don't expect that. And before I let you go, I want to give a shout out to one of our wonderful listeners who took the time to leave us a review. Christina wrote that The Grit is heartfelt and pure. Just give it a try. You will laugh, cry, and realize you are not alone. Thank you so much for that, Christina, it means a lot. If you haven't left us a review yet, don't worry, we understand how daunting your list of things to do can be. You could put it on your things not to lose list. Or if you have a second right now, you can work that in too. We will be both grateful. So put your review up on Spotify, Apple podcasts or whichever streaming service you use. It means a lot to see what you have to say. It's also a great way to help others learn about what you liked about the podcast and help them find us. I look forward to connecting with you again next week. Until then, take care of you. You know I mean that. You're the only one of you that this world has got and that means something.