Tossing Out The Overwhelming To-Do-Lists

Last week, I was invited to paradise, but when I arrived, paradise was nowhere to be found; it was buried in chaos!

My mother asked if I could come down and help her with some projects around the house.  Turns out those projects were bigger than the both of us and we ran out of motivation before we could even think where to begin; plus, the weather didn’t help.  When the weather is cold and wet, my mother moves like molasses as her poor joints lock up like a rusty old tin man.  So, instead of working on projects, my mother (being my mother) convinced me to go to her “fun” dentist for a routine check up.  Let’s just say, I came home this weekend with a broken sandal strap and 6 cavities.  It was a rough week.

All my life, I feared getting my first cavity.  So, it wasn’t fun getting the news that I have 6 cavities!  That’s a bit to take in, especially, since I have been cavity free for over 30 years!  Overall, my teeth are in good health and the cavities are “shallow.”  According to my mother’s “fun” dentist, it’s a “no-brainer” to fix.  I’m relieved, because I thought it was going to be rocket-science!  Ugh!

Too Many To-Do’s To Count

IMG-0843Cavities aside, my mother really needs my help!  She is buried in too many overwhelming projects.  My mother is notorious for starting projects and never finishing them; and she knows it.  Unfortunately, it has finally caught up with her; not only is it affecting her happiness, but also her overall health.

My mother is a natural clutter bug whereas I am more of a minimalist (with a few hidden junk drawers).  Our ideas clash sometimes, as she doesn’t understand how I can function without appliances cluttering the countertops, knick-knack “treasures” cluttering the shelves, or even a yard without on single piece of lawn decoration (like the Elvis Flamingo she gave me a few years ago) and simply, I do not understand how she can function in “chaos.”  

Tossing The To-Do List’s

Despite our different ideas, my mother has called upon my minimalistic superpowers to help her get things back in order.

Personally, I don’t like To-Do lists, but for some people, to-do lists are amazing.  I thought for my mom, a to-do list would help her organize her thoughts, but like her bathroom scale, to-do lists are also evil, wicked, mean, and nasty!  So, nix the to-do list idea!

The Light Bulb For A New Game Plan

I was so overwhelmed by my mother’s house that I felt exhausted by the time I got home to my own house.  My husband did a great job keeping up the house while I was gone  (he even made the bed) and the glistening clean countertops were a welcoming sight when I came home.  While cooking dinner that night, the fat moving hamster in my brain turned on a light bulb as bright as the sun!  I realized how I could help my mom with her overwhelming basket of to-do-lists.

Sadly, my mother’s poor health finally sunk in, making me realize she really needs my help.  Before, my mother would asked for my help just for the company.  Now, she really needs my organizational brain to kick into full gear and help prioritize chaos.

I quickly came up with a new game plan to tackle all her projects.  Instead of a basket full of overwhelming to-do lists, we start with a fresh slate and move slowly forward without my mother putting her hand in the project cookie jar.  See, my mother is also notorious for creating large new projects over night.

Her house is chaotic, because unfinished projects are EVERYWHERE, in which is causing her to feel overwhelmed; so, the first order of business is to put away all the projects creating a clean slate.  Then, deep clean her house to make it easier for her to manage on her own.  Then, finally, tackling the projects one at a time, by doing those that serve a functional purpose rather than those that serve a cosmetic purpose.  Basically, fix the leaky sink before painting it a “pretty” new color.

Accomplishing Large Goals With Smaller Goals

It is easier to accomplish a large goal by breaking it down into smaller goals.  The smaller goals encourage motivation to continue working towards the overall large goal.  But, when you have too many large goals, the best way to conquer them is to clear your plate all together and start over with one simple task at a time, focusing mainly on one goal.  It will make things go quicker and much easier.

Wish Us Luck! 

I am heading back, with a new pair of sandals in hand and the motivation to take back paradise from chaos!

How do you tackle your basket of to-do’s? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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