The Unexpected Benefit of To-do Lists

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At the start of summer, I started a haphazard bullet journal. All summer long I meant to go back and really learn how to use a bullet journal (i.e. watch/read all the tutorials) but I never had the time. In the busyness of life, I sort of made it my own, to fit my own purposes.

When I started it in June, I made a “wish list” of all the things I wanted to do and get to this summer. It was an assorted list of things that needed to be done and fun things I wanted to do. And then the list loomed in the back of my mind all summer as a constant reminder of all my inefficiencies. It’s easy to feel inadequate when faced with a long to-do list.

July is over now. Two months that came and went like an afternoon thunderstorm that rolls out as quickly as it rolls in but still leaves everything soaking wet. Remembering the list, I finally sat down to look at it and face my own internal judgment. I told myself, instead of feeling bad about what I didn’t do, I was going to create a new list of all things I did do.

I’m happy to report that, without realizing it, I’ve been slowly crossing things off the list. And, you know what, all the really important stuff was on “what we did” list!

It was so encouraging to be reminded that our time wasn’t wasted. In fact, it was filled to the brim with fun, friends and family (and a few necessary projects around the house). Then I looked back at my original June list and I was able to cross off most of my to-do items and the ones that I didn’t cross off weren’t really that important to me anymore.

Sometimes we’re harder on ourselves than we need to be. Rather than feeling bad, my to-do list did the opposite. It reminded me to count my blessings. Rather than counting what’s lacking, maybe we need to spend more time counting what’s right in front of us. Less lists of what we need, and more lists of what we have.

2 thoughts on “The Unexpected Benefit of To-do Lists

  1. I love To-Do lists so much! Ironically, though, my bullet journal use has petered out haha. At this point in my life, I don’t need something that complicated.

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    • I’m glad I’m not the only bullet journal drop-out – haha! It is a bit complicated. Instead it’s basically a journal with all my different lists – shopping lists, reading lists, to-do lists, etc. This way works for me!

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