Give Yourself Permission to Leave Some Things Undone

Ever find yourself saying something like, "When this is done, then I’ll [fill in leisure activity here]". But you repeat this until you’re too exhausted to do that leisure activity? Does being organized really give you the freedom you’re looking for? When your list of to-do’s is unending and you feel you have to do them all, then the answer is ‘no’.

Now, I’m all for being highly organized. It makes up a good portion of who I am and what I do. It’s an asset that helps me keep things straight in my own business and life and allows me, as a VA, to keep track of my clients and keep all their activities in their respective businesses flowing smoothly.

But are you like me? Do you sometimes feel you’re caught up in all the details of the never-ending to-do list?

Give Yourself PermissionI think this is why my mom, the wise woman that she is, gave me this plaque that reads "Give Yourself Permission to Leave Some Things Undone". It was so timely, around the birth of my first child, when I felt I had to still do everything I’d always done and look after a new baby. I keep it as a reminder & look at it every day.

Our lives and our businesses are a work in progress. Know that there will always be something else on your list and to enjoy the process! It’s not just about life balance it’s also about life acceptance.

Here are some tips that will allow you to enjoy being the organized person that you are by nature without the guilt and nagging persistence of the yet undone:

1. Do less. You can work all day rushing from one task to the next, but little quality work will get completed. Instead, focus on a couple of important tasks and invest the time to do them right from start to finish. For example, got an idea for an article? Write down your outline, let the ideas flow then put the pieces together. Voila! Now you have a properly completed article for your ezine, blog or an article submission piece that will all have a positive effect on your business. Rushing through several bits & pieces of various tasks in a frenzy throughout your day, will get you nowhere but frustrated.

2. Take a break. Get up from your desk and away from your office. If there are issues you are struggling with, clearing your head with a 15 minute walk or a step outside for a breath of fresh air, will provide some clarity on these issues. Studies have shown that frequent short breaks or less frequent longer breaks will refresh your mind and body, reduce discomfort and fatigue and increase accuracy and productivity!

3. Give yourself permission to leave some things undone. It is important to recognize and accept that you will never clear your list; there will always be undone items. Pick the top 2 to 3 items each day that absolutely must get done. Do these first and if you get to something else on your list, consider it a bonus. When you allow yourself to focus your time on fewer tasks you enjoy the process more and avoid mistakes.

4. Celebrate the victories. You are setting yourself up for success with the above approach, accomplishing great things while spending your time joyfully. Take a few moments to reflect on your accomplishment when you finish an assignment before you tackle the next item.

Remember, the goal here is to be more effective. Focus your time on fewer tasks and do them well. Avoid the overwhelm of having to ‘get it all done’. Doing less but doing it better allows you to enjoy the lasting results of real achievement.

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