I am a highly organized person and yes, I admit, I am a list-person too. I keep a whiteboard in my office (aka living room with a large desk in it), have a To-Do list in my calendar, a daily task list on my desk, a travel journal on TripAdvisor, a list of articles and blog posts I wanna write, series and movies I wanna watch, unrelated ideas for an unknown future and even a list of things to check out in my free time. The good thing about this system is that I never ever forget anything that needs to be done. But lately, I realize there’s a huge downside to my system as well.
Losing sight of the bigger picture
Juggling a diverse mix of projects and ideas, I do need a system to keep track of everything that needs to be done. Most of the times my lists come in handy, sometimes, however, they stress me out, remind me of things that need to happen and endpasses where I am stuck. It is so nice to cross something off my lists, but it is very stressful to also have a constant reminder of things I cannot do or solve (yet).
More than anything, all the little projects and ideas keep me busy and give me stuff to do. Stuff, however, is not what brings one forward in life. Stuff is a distraction and while my projects are what I love to do with all my heart, it isn’t always what needs to get done to get ahead. More often than not, my lists make me lose sight of the bigger picture.
While keeping tabs on projects is important, it is not what answers the big and tough questions in life. I constantly need to remind myself to take time off, get inspired and reflect on life. I have to take time to meditate over what I really want and somehow find a way to specify my next steps.
What is up next? What do I have to do get there? And what is the ‘final’ goal?
I realize that life never happens in a way you can plan it. Unexpected things happen and life takes turns where you hadn’t planned them. Without any goals in mind, however, life won’t progress in the way you want it to.
You won’t find a job that makes you happy without looking for it. You won’t find freelance work without reaching out. You’ll never do that thing you ever wanted to do without practicing for it. I need to find better ways to go with the flow and plan accordingly. Any tips?
Title photo by Noémi Macavei-Katócz