Just Do SOMEthing

I really envy task oriented people. 

My husband, for example. He is a "get 'er done" person. He sticks to a schedule. He writes a list of roles and goals everyday. He talks about "big rocks" and "important and not urgent or important and urgent" or whatever... He's a Seven Habits guy.


I have no idea what that is like.

It's not that I want to sit around and do nothing with myself. I have all kinds of things that I need and want to get done. My head is usually racing (especially at night when I'm trying to fall asleep; so frustrating!) with tasks, goals, and new ideas. It is quite overwhelming.

So, like any other person, I make a list; organize my thoughts. Hoping that this will make it all less overwhelming. And everyone says it's so satisfying to check things off the list... blah, blah, blah...

"To Do" lists overwhelm me. 

The thought of ALL THE THINGS I need to do actually often paralyzes me and I end up doing nothing. 
I wish I was the person who has no idea what that is like.

One day as I was sitting on the couch looking around at the mess that naturally happens when a family of four lives in a house, feeling overwhelmed at the amount of things that needed to get done. I basically said to myself, "Eff it, I'm going to do something I WANT to do."

Somewhere in my "To Do" list history, I was convinced that I had to do things in a certain order. I had to get the daily, monotonous, not fun things done before I could do anything that would fulfill me professionally, creatively, or even personally. 

Like... I wouldn't even read, because I hadn't yet done the dishes or laundry or vacuumed. Yet, because I desperately don't want to do dishes or laundry or vacuum, I just sit there. 

What the heck? 

If I am just sitting there, I could be reading and checking books off of my huge list of "books I want to read!" Know what I mean? 

So that day, I got up off the couch and painted a shelf. I love a good DIY project.

I did something and it felt good to get it done.

Turns out, when I just do SOMEthing from the overwhelming list, I tend to feel motivated to do other things too... even the things I really don't like doing.

And BTW, now I keep a book downstairs (I used to really only read at bed time). Because, if I'm on the couch feeling overwhelmed at the roles and goals of my life, at LEAST I can read.

There have been times in my life when even the things I enjoy were not motivating. If you are, or have ever been, struggling with depression. You are not alone. It is a real illness, and I understand (and wish everyone understood) that you can't just do SOMEthing to snap out of it. 

So, do you relate? Do you ever feel paralyzed by all the things you want to accomplish? How have you overcome that? Share your tips and thoughts in the comments!


  1. That's how I've been doing things this year. I find when I do something I'm so motivated to do more, so I just keep plugging away and doing something each day, even if it's just a little something. :)

  2. I love this! There are so many times I hesitate because I want to do too much. But, doing something is better than nothing!

  3. Great post on the funny way motivation can work. I love To Do lists, mainly because they focus me. And it does feel good to check things off a list. But I definitely feel paralyzed by the magnitude of the things I have to get done. Sometimes I give myself permission to just veg, and other days I get more done by 10 AM than I did the entire day before.

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  5. I totally understand what you mean! I am the same way. Getting just one or two things done a day leaves me feeling accomplished instead of getting nothing done because I was overwhelmed by my to-do list. Great post!

  6. I always start something, along with three other things at once. I agree with staying focussed to complete one task at a time!

  7. I am the same way!! I loved this. Definitely relatable and really encouraging, thank you for sharing!!

  8. I work best with a checklist. Love the thrill of checking things off my list!

  9. Great advice, we have a mixture of do-ers and non-doers in our family and it's important to balance things so you can work together!

  10. Same! I've noticed that doing anything prompts me to do everything, so to speak. Great post!

  11. Omg I have an issue with lists too. I seriously get palpitations, because I know they'll never be done!! I'm going to try and remember this.

  12. This is awesome!! I often feel like my to do lists are extremely overwhelming, but once I start checking things off, it's great!

  13. I feel like I wrote this myself! I'm the SAME! Soooo much to do...so i'll just do NOTHING. How does that make sense!?

  14. This was such a good read! I am the type of person who does not allow myself to relax until EVERYTHING else is done and by then I'm usually too tired to do anything I really enjoy and end up going to bed hoping I will have time tomorrow (which I never do!).I have also struggled with depression off and on since I was 15 and wish it was something I could just "snap" out of, but what helps me is knowing that those feelings are temporary and having someone to talk to is nice! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Yes! I have a huge to do list in front of me, and I have to remind myself to just handle one small task at a time!

  16. Oh I can totally relate! I often have it in my mind how things should be done in terms of the order but just getting it done is really what matters. Without putting any more pressure on myself than what's necessary.

  17. you should check out a method called kahn bahn. Great way to move through things like this. I am the same way as you and this really helps. I use a "3 bin" system. A column for "to do", column for "doing" (I limit myself to having only 3 things in here, new one can't come in until another moves out) and finally the "done" column. Things only move from left to right. once in "doing" it can't go back to "to do". Works really well with post-its. I also make sure in my "doing" column that there is at least one enjoyable task for me (DIY project, reading for x time, drawing, etc.)

    1. Dry erase board divided up works wonders as well