It seems very fitting that today’s mindfulness activity has to do with focusing on tasks to do one at a time because with classes starting next week, my to-do list is feeling very long.
Today’s mindfulness activity: breaking down the mountain.
I love how this page of the Meh Activity Book illustrates how tasks on a to-do list can quickly pile up and overwhelm us. I know that the way I evaluate and measure my day’s productivity and my worth is directly tied into my completion (or not) of all the items on my to-do list. Yet, waking up to see that long list of things to do can sometimes freeze me with the anxiety of “the mountain.” How in the world can I complete everything that I am supposed to do? Sometimes the stress of it is so bad that I end up wasting time procrastinating or hiding from my list because I cannot bear the thought of tackling everything.
So today, I took a moment to re-evaluate my to-do list. I tried to prioritize the most important things (putting them at the top of the list) and then I went to the first item and spent a few hours tackling it.
I actually had a very productive day today, but I noticed that I didn’t feel nearly as overwhelmed as I usually do. Once I had made my prioritized list, I tried not to look at it as a whole, but just to move on straight to the next task once my previous one was done. I tried my best not to get too distracted by other things that come up during the day (like non-urgent emails), and by the end of the day, the mountain seemed a lot more manageable.
It was a simple mindfulness activity, but a very useful one!