Living Turnaround: There Is Nothing I Have to Do Today

I need to do the laundry today, is it true?

This Turnaround Is for People Like Me

I recently did The Work on the concept, “I need to write the newsletter.” Every week, I write a newsletter article like this one, but it didn’t happen to get it done that particular week. I usually write on Tuesday to be posted the following Monday.

When I didn’t write it on Tuesday, I watched my stress levels go up on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday as my chances of getting it done became smaller and smaller. By the time I did The Work on it the next Monday, I was feeling down and disappointed in myself.

I Pride Myself in Keeping Commitments

Even commitments to myself. And I feel stress when I can’t fulfill them. Luckily, all this can be questioned. 

When I did The Work on “I need to write the newsletter,” I found so many reasons why it’s not actually true. In fact, that day when I was “supposed” to be writing my newsletter, I had decided to work on my website instead. 

In that web design work, I was able to add a search bar to my website so that people can search through the over 500 articles that I’ve written on The Work over the years. In a way, I was providing more service by not writing my newsletter that day!

My Facilitator Helped Me Go Even Further

As I continued to do my work, my facilitator made a comment that opened up my eyes to the idea that I don’t actually have to do anything. The idea that “there is nothing I have to do today” became really clear to me. 

It reminded me of a year in my twenties where I literally saw everything I did as optional. I felt like I was on permanent vacation. It was so good to get in touch with that past experience again and to realize that it is just as possible to live like that now, even when I’m busy running a business.

Since this work the other week, I have been holding everything more lightly. It feels almost irresponsible. But in a good way. When I wake up in the morning, I don’t force myself to get up. I check to see if I’m ready to get up. And when I work through my to do list, I do it with a lighter heart, knowing that there is nothing i have to do today.

This Feels Like I’m Better Able to Roll with the Punches

Instead of being so protective of my time (and always feeling behind), I’m able to deal with interruptions better. In fact, twice in the last week I willingly took time out of my work day to drive my mother-in-law to appointments. 

Living this turnaround feels like affluence to me. I’m not so time poor anymore. Yes, I still plan. Yes, I’m still very productive. But no, I’m not stressing about it. I’m on vacation. 

Have a great week,

“The belief “I have to work” has never been true; it’s the lie you hold on to so that you can keep yourself from the joy of the gift that you give. No one has to work. No one has ever had to.” Byron Katie​, Question Your Thinking, Change the World

Further reading: The Source of “Too Much to Do”

  • Liat Gat says:

    Lovely article, Todd! I can totally related. And thank you so much for the search bar on your site. 🙂

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