In high school I lived in constant fear.
I had a huge, secret fear I didn't really tell anyone.
The scariest thing for me was:
Not doing something I was supposed to do.
Because of this, I wrote everything on my to-do list.
I had multiple lists. I couldn't miss a thing.
... I couldn't displease anyone.
This caused MASSIVE amounts of stress for me...
And likely you too.
I've since removed to-do lists from my life and the mountains of stress that come with them.
To-do lists zap your energy because they're always weighing on you.
Even when you get to the end of them, you quickly find new things to put on them.
Until the end of the universe, there will always be more things for you to do.
When you put what you want to do on a list, it doesn't get done.
It actually weighs on you more...
taking energy away from you to focus on what you're doing in the present.
Here are three ideas to help you eliminate to-do lists from your life and live stress-free.
IDEA #1: DON'T LIST IT, JUST DO IT.
But don't put your current want burdens on your future self.
Either do the thing now, or leave it.
If it's really important, it will come up for you later.
If you have to put something on your to do list, you probably don't care much about it.
Until you're ready to put in the energy required to bring a task into the present moment, let it go.
There is such a massive cost to carrying around things you're 'supposed' to do, or things you 'have' to do.
You don't have to do anything. You can do whatever you want.
If you absolutely do need to do something in the future, put it in the reminders app on your phone, or in your calendar.
Otherwise, just do it...
IDEA #2: YOU NEVER HAVE TO DO ANYTHING.
Except you when you have to do lists...
Then there's a LOT you have to do.
When you have to do lists, it feels like you absolutely have to finish the list.
And since the lists never get done...
You never get to feeling like you get to do what you want to do.
Everything you take action on is your choice.
To do lists make it easy to forget about this fact.
Take responsibility for your time and only take action on the most important stuff.
Ditch the rest.
IDEA #3: SAYING 'NO' IS HARD
If you're in the habit of trying to please everyone...
Getting out of it will take time.
So be patient with yourself.
It's very difficult to be honest with others.
It's even harder to be honest with yourself.
Instead of telling yourself you don't want to do something...
You just tell yourself you'll do it 'later'.
Don't put off taking responsibility for your life.
If you don't want to do something, let it go.
To do lists make it way too easy to lie to yourself about what you really want.
Plus, they zap you of the focus you need to reach any of your goals.
Get used to saying no to the unimportant,
saying no to yourself,
and saying no to other people.
The error isn't in pleasing everyone...
It's in pleasing others at the expense of pleasing yourself.
Because your alternative is actually much scarier.