Oh that list. That seemingly never ending to-do list. Sometimes we just want to crumple it up and throw it away rather than face it. What to do first?? It can be hard sometimes to decide the priority of our many tasks. However, there are commonly 6 things you think you must do now!!! (but you can really let slide).
Let these 6 tasks wait until you’ve accomplished your highest priority tasks. Schedule time for these activities; don’t let them constantly interrupt the truly important stuff you’ve got going on.Schedule these activities; don't let them constantly interrupt the truly important stuff Click To Tweet
6 Things You Can Really Let Slide
Unless the email is an urgent request from your boss, most emails don’t need to be answered right away. You have my permission to answer email when it is convenient for you. I usually spend about a half an hour in the morning and again in the early evening to go through email and return those that need attention. I just don’t want to constantly be checking my phone or computer to see if a new email arrived. That’s very distracting and keeps me from actually accomplishing anything.
One book on my “to read” list is Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age by Maggie Jackson. Her book warns of societal ADD and illustrates how these constant distractions are robbing us of creativity and meaningful relationships. So really, let the email wait.
Same as with email: if you have an urgent request from a boss or client, by all means stop what you are doing and make the phone call. For all others, you get to choose when is the best time for you to place the call. Even to your mother.
Unfortunately, with all the amazing technology at our fingertips that connects us, I think we’ve been trained that we must respond instantly. Sometimes I’ll be making dinner and I hear that “bing!” that tells me a text has come in. Hands covered in bread dough I panic a little. “Oh! What do I do?! A text came in but I can’t check my phone now!!” Horror of horrors! Laughing at myself, I remember that just because it was convenient for someone else to text me at that moment, doesn’t mean it has to be convenient for me to respond.
You’ll know just h0w distracting social media can be if you’ve ever spent time around a teen. My daughter, who might need a 7 step intervention program for her phone, had trouble some days in high school having a 5 minute conversation with me due to all the social media alerts bombarding her phone. Think about it, have you ever started to check Facebook and an hour later realize you are still sitting in front of your computer, responding away, when dinner hasn’t been started?
Truth is, there will always be a conversation happening on Facebook, an interesting Tweet to check out. Does anyone really notice if you don’t respond? Never once has someone said “Gee Daria, I tagged you on Facebook and you didn’t say anything.” To me, this is a no-brainer to let slide.
I feel really odd writing this. I have a certain reputation as a tidy and organized person to uphold after all! Lol. Confession: I hate to iron and will do anything in the universe to avoid it. Headed to a wedding, yes, I’ll iron my outfit. Otherwise, not so much. So I spent years waiting for the buzz of the dryer so I could immediately fold and hang the laundry. Until I got smart and learned to put a dampened microfiber towel in the dryer and re-dry the load for 5-10 minutes. Viola! No more wrinkles.
As you begin each day, think about three things you most want to accomplish. My guess is “answering all my emails as soon as they come in!” is not on that list. I’m not telling you to blow off the four tasks mentioned above, but instead, plan for when it makes sense for you to do them. Plan your time wisely and don’t let yourself be distracted by things you can let slide (for awhile anyway.)
Doing the Dishes
Wait! There’s a caveat to this!
I enjoy entertaining. I also enjoy a clean kitchen (and tidy house overall). Yet rinsing, scrubbing and loading the dishwasher while I still have guests over feels wrong somehow. I should be focusing on them, not my housework. Now, I just load up the sink with with sudsy water and slide the dishes in carefully. They’ll wait just fine until my friends have gone home.
Would you agree that we, as a society, seem busier than ever before? Do you ever wonder-what’s the point? I do. Maybe it’s because I’m nearing a birthday, the last in my 40’s. I just don’t want to be busy anymore. Our time should count for something. Yet we are only human. There are only 24 hours in a day? We simply can’t do everything. Sometimes, we have to decide what we can let slide.
What do you let slide?
Ready to Get the Important Stuff Done?
If so, you won’t want to miss these posts:
My #1 Tool to Stop the Overwhelm!
- Learn what should be first on your to do list
- Identify what is keeping you from your goals
- Find time for the people and activities that nourish you
Are you ready to stop being overwhelmed? Are you ready to plan your priorities and find time for fun in less than an hour? Sure you are!