Do you feel you don’t have time to do enough of the things you want to do? Chances are, there are pieces of your life that can be reordered by simply thinking about the value you place on certain tasks which eat up the free time in your day.
So much of our time is spent doing things by society’s norms—shopping for new clothes, manicuring the lawn, and/or cleaning the house every day just in case company comes over. How much time do you spend doing tasks for the sake of what you think other people expect of you? If the tasks are important to you and you genuinely place value on them, then by all means, get that new suit, trim those hedges, and vacuum all the rugs in the house twice a day. But if these are things you can live happily without, why devote an exorbitant amount of time killing yourself to do them? They don’t fulfill you as a human being, and chances are, the people who you think notice these supplementary gestures actually don’t give them a second thought.
Your challenge this week is to think about your (oftentimes, ever-growing) to-do list and ask yourself if each individual item made the list because you value it or because you think society values it. If you don’t truly value the item, mark it off your list and replace it with something that enriches your life. Let me be clear, I am not advocating an abdication of your responsibilities; I am encouraging a thoughtful practice in awareness of what matters most to you. Marking even one or two things off your list per week in exchange for something you treasure—a massage, a walk around the block with the family, or a group fitness class—can make such a difference in your overall happiness and stress levels.