Quote of the Week

“You can do anything, but not everything.”

I am a huge believer of To Do lists. I am old fashioned too, so my actual list is written in an agenda. On the one side of my agenda, I have my calendar. On the other side, I have my lists.

I divide my lists into Work and Personal.

In my work list, I have a few categories: Daily – which includes all the calls I have to make or return, emails to return, treatment plans that I have to do,  things I need to research or order, and people I need to follow up with etc. I don’t bother to write in “see my clients” and “write my daily progress notes for each client” as that is a given. I then have a category that lists all the things I need to do for my weekly group that I run. Finally, I have a category for all the reports to write; and let me tell you, this category stresses me out. At any given time, there are about 6-7 reports needing to be written and they take about 5 hours each:(

Then, I have my Personal list. Written there are all the every day things that just need doing. You know, run errands to pick stuff up, pay bills, call so and so for their birthday, send card for so and so’s birthday, write a blog post, do laundry, mail letters etc. But then I also have the list of things that have been on my list for months: make album of our trip Downunder, re-vamp blog, frame family pictures, sort through toys in boy’s room to give away etc. etc.

All this to say, sometimes I look at my To Do lists and I physically feel ill.

Because what is not written on all my lists are the really important things like: hang out with my kids so I can hear all their stories, help kids with homework, exercise, get to bed at a decent time, set aside time to chat with my closest friends and family, personal scripture study and prayer, spend some one on one time with my husband and maybe even read a bit of a good book.

How to get it all done?

I sometimes get anxious when I think about it ALL. Who doesn’t? I mean, seriously, is there a mother out there who does not feel squeezed from every direction? Who questions where her time is spent and if it is spent on the right things?

The only thing I can do is try to remind myself of this little quote. I can do anything. I just can’t do everything”. But, I pair it with another quote that I often play in my mind: You can do it all, but you just can’t do it all NOW.” 

That’s the key thing, right? There isn’t enough hours in a day to do it all NOW. But, perhaps there is enough time in a lifetime to do it all? That is what I am counting on. I just have to pick and choose what my focus is NOW.

I may not get my reports done on time, I may never get my photo albums put together, I may miss sending my friend a birthday card, I may skip writing some blog posts, and I may need to eventually give away the ton of toys we have outgrown.

But right NOW? I don’t need to stress about EVERYTHING. I need to choose my top things and focus on those and be forgiving with myself when I fail in so many other areas. One day, I’ll get to it all.


Quote of the Week — 17 Comments

  1. Love this quote and know that feeling of stress all too well and trying to do it all and reminding myself that sometimes I just can’t and that it will be ok if I can’t get to something on my list, but will get to it eventually. Thanks for that reminder this Monday morning, because Mondays I usually do feel a bit more stress on my shoulders and need to remember this more now!

  2. Leah, great post for a Monday! Monday is the day I always plan my week..and I like you often feel physically sick looking at all the things I want to do but cannot (for now)

    All my big projects like..photo albums..framing….learning a new language..making mazing videos etc..get put list to list..month to month…year to year and that depresses me a lot.

    I don’t know how anyone manages to do anything without to do lists….I would be lost without my paper agenda..I phone…and good old Siri for all my reminders.

    Great post and reminder that Life is Long!

  3. Boy, can I relate, Leah. I make lots of lists, but sometimes I jump from one thing to another and lose all productivity. I’m trying to concentrate on one thing at a time so I can focus and finish it before moving to the next. Like today – I just couldn’t swing posting and getting everything else done. So I’ll post tomorrow. You’ll still be there, right? 🙂

  4. Your quotes always resonate with me but I especially love this week’s main quote and the one you paired. For at Type A busy body such as myself, I’d do good to have this one on the vision board! As a matter of fact, I’m penciling it in ASAP!

  5. I say that a lot, “One day I’ll get to everything.” I hope I will. I’m so feeling this right now because I’m having a week with too much stuff, and my chest feels squeezed and I have to email or call people to tell them, “No! We can’t hang out this week!” I hate that. Something always has to give, though, and for me it’s usually a no-brainer what stays.

  6. I am so bad at writing down lists. They just get so long and so depressing! Though I have gotten in the habit of taking a few minutes at the end of the work day to write the five most important things to get done the next day. It helps me focus. But like you said, sometimes the daily to-do’s can get in the way of the really important things like ten or fifteen minutes with the kids each day.

  7. I have allowed a ton of things to drop off my to do list in the past few weeks – and the world hasn’t ended….yet. I think we all fall into the habit of feeling like there is never enough time and couple that with trying to get too much done, and it can be catastrophic. A thought I’ve held close lately is that the things I say “I don’t have enough time” for just plain and simply aren’t priorities. It’s a game changer when I look at things that way. Suddenly, I”m in charge again.

  8. I think that’s a wonderful quote! I’m like you… I have my “to do” list and I also have a desk calendar. My husband laughs and says, “Just use your iPhone for the calendar” but some things I like to see handwritten out – I want to see the enter calendar with all things on it all at once. Whereas, my to do list can go on the iPhone 🙂
    Aleta recently posted…Why I Now Love MorningsMy Profile

  9. Have you tried using dictation for your reports? It’s something I haven’t got the hang of yet, but my husband has cut his workload down significantly. When I do my to do list, I always like to think of my priorities first, then write the list. I had to take a time management webinar through my grad school and it’s helped me a little to clarify what needs to be done and when. The program is Attack Your Day. The other thing that is so helpful for my home life is the book “The Sidetracked Home Executive.” I am learning the fine art of delegating, too, but this one’s been hard for me. Thanks Martha (Stewart) for giving us the false idea we can do it all–and do it all well! I like to think those dust bunnies under my sofa can be used for crafts sometime at a later date.
    Nicole Nenninger recently posted…How to Keep from Feeling AnxiousMy Profile

  10. Great quote! Great reminder for those of us who fall into the “SuperMom” trap! I think knowing your priorities can be incredibly helpful. I also sit down in the morning and write down what my priorities are for the day and how much time to estimate for focusing on them. Not everything gets done, but the important things do.
    Nicole Nenninger recently posted…Quote of the WeekMy Profile

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