My Personal 'To Stop' List

October 19, 2018

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I love goals and to do lists.  I love systematically checking things off and tracking my progress on longer term goals.  I'm excited to get a bunch of things done before the end of the year.  I also love living slow, simplifying everything, and having nothing scheduled in an entire weekend.  Those two lifestyles seem to be at odds with each other, but they aren't.  I simplify certain things in order to free up time to do the things that matter, like working on goals I'm excited about.  And to do the laundry.  Sometimes, though, even I find myself over-scheduled.  There are just certain months where I can't remove all the weekend plans I want to, and I'm left feeling stressed out, without any down time.  That's when I know I need to take a step by and reassess what I need to be doing less of.  I make myself a 'to stop' list, right there on the page next to my year end to do list.


Here's what's on my 'to stop' list as of today:

Signing on Twitter.  I stepped very far back on Twitter.  I unfollowed almost everyone and I muted people I still do follow.  I never tweet anything.  But still, I sign on more than I should.  Inevitably, someone that I follow will have retweeted something that's charged, usually politically.  That's fine for them, but not fine for me.  I get so sucked in, reading threads and comments.  First of all, it's a time suck.  Second of all, there's always going to be tons of replies that I just don't agree with.  I don't respond, but mentally, I do.  I let it take up way too much mental energy, to the point where it makes me frustrated, because people are just. so. ignorant.  But I cannot change their ignorance by giving myself anxiety.  I wouldn't even be able to change them if I did actually respond to them on Twitter, which is a main reason I got rid of Facebook so many years ago.  The drama has no place in my life.  But even just reading it and not participating is a hinderance in my life at the moment, and it has to go.

Allowing Any Phone Notifications.  I think all my app notifications are off.  But text notifications still come through and I want to cut that cord.  Nothing that comes through text is so important that I need to check it the second it comes in.  It's the worst habit.  I could be in the middle of work and lose all concentration on whatever I was writing as soon as my phone pings.  Worse still, I'll stop fully paying attention to the person I'm talking to if I see the screen light up.  Checking texts is just the worst.  I'm turning off the notifications and making an effort to only check my phone at certain times.

Drinking a 3rd Coffee.  I love coffee.  I'm pure evil without coffee.  I always have 1 cup of coffee a day.  On particularly trying days, I have two.  But lately I've been branching into the 3 territory, and I don't want to be there.  Three is too many - I always have it too late and then don't fall asleep early enough to be well rested the next day.  Two needs to remain the limit.

Inventing Excuses.  The actual excuse is always 'I'm too lazy.'  But I'll make up all sorts of reasons.  It's too late when I'm leaving work so I don't have time to make a real meal at home and I need fast food.  It's too warm outside for Hawkeye to walk, so I don't need to go if I don't take her, I can just walk on the treadmill.  (Naturally, I don't walk on the treadmill either.)  I need to stop telling myself these things which might have a hint of truth but aren't actually true at the core - the core is that I'm being lazy.

Checking My Phone Too Early.  I don't sleep with my phone in the bedroom, I leave it charging in the kitchen.  But when I go retrieve it in the morning, I tend to check stuff first thing - e-mails, Instagram, my fantasy football team, etc.  That's nothing important enough to do first thing in the morning.  I need to just turn off the alarm and make sure there's no missed calls, and then go about my morning making coffee, walking Hawkeye, generally doing things better for me mentally than checking e-mails.

Planning Things on Both Weekend Days.  I've always tried to make this a rule.  Things on Saturday or things on Sunday, but not both.  However, that's a little hard for us to do in September and October because of John's schedule with coaching little kid football, so my calendar lately has gotten away from me.  I want to get back into the habit of having one weekend day to myself, and not solely to do housework.

Do you have a 'to stop' list?  What's on yours lately?


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