“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.