Challenges, Kathy Caprino, Living Real, Parenting, Uncategorized, Work-Life Balance Is Your To-Do List Making Your Head Explode? Written by: Kathy Caprino

In honor of Twitter’s #Friday Follow tradition, I decided to “Friday Follow” myself all around the office and the house today, to observe what the heck I do all day as an entrepreneur, career coach, writer, and mom, and to see where the time goes.


So here’s what my TO DO list today looked like:


1)      Be a caring mom – Get kids up, ready, fed and off to school. DONE!


2)      Clean – the dishes and straighten house. DONE!


3)      Think Ahead and Prepare – Make sure there’s something for dinner.  DONE!


4)      Read – everything I can get my hands on, about working women, work-life balance, and careers.  DONE!


5)      Keep up-to-date – Check my Google alerts on women, careers, women’s event, and women’s books. DONE!


6)      Blog – Write a post for three of my blogs.  DONE!


7)      Write – Prepare an article for submission on women’s work-life balance. DONE!


8)      Promote – Reach out to interested folks about my upcoming audio and video series. DONE!


9)      Connect – Have lunch with my husband and have meaningful conversation (and fun). DONE!


10)  Produce – Take one step towards finishing an author clip for my site.  DONE!


11)  Be a caring child – Call my parents to check in. DONE!


12)  Biz Develop – Connect with two neat West Coast coaches and consultants to talk about collaborating.  DONE!


13) Confirm – planning details of my seminar with executive women Monday. DONE!


14)  Edit – Work on editing an audio clip of a recent teleseminar to meet my deadline.  NOT QUITE DONE!


15)  Exercise – NOT DONE AT ALL! 


16)  Email – Answer my skillions of emails and delete the spam and mindless crap and promotions. DONE!


17)  Mentor – Help out colleague who’s a bit down today, and offer support. DONE!


18)  Coach – Conduct my career coaching sessions with clients. DONE!


19)  Be a caring parent – Be home/available for my son’s return from school, talk and share, and give a snack – DONE!


20)  Administrate – Pay bills (my favorite task – not!). DONE!


21)  Be Social – Friday Follow and RT on Twitter, and add new stuff to FB and LinkedIn. DONE!


22)  Watch – as my head exploded, then vent about it to my husband (just kidding! – not really)


23)  Transport and Shuttle – Pick up my daughter from sports at school. DONE!


24)  Cook – Make dinner for family, and “hang” – DONE!


25)  Clean – up the mess – DONE!


26)  Post again – Write this piece. DONE!


27)  Collapse – into a heap. DONE!


28)  Rest – and enjoy an online episode of “GLEE.” NOT DONE, BUT WILL BE TONIGHT – gleefully! (After I un-heap myself).


OK!  That was my day, from 7:00 am to 6:25pm.  Not so bad for 11.5 hours.  So why do I still feel like I didn’t come close to completing what I wanted to??


Ah, the joys of perfectionism and overfunctioning!


What was your TO-DO List and how well did you accomplish it?


Happy Friday, my friends!

4 thoughts on “Is Your To-Do List Making Your Head Explode?”

  1. I’m tired just reading all this! Do you make the list ahead of time or as you go along, I wonder? I’m ready for a nap, now…

  2. Hi Sheryl: Thanks for writing. I have critical MUST DO items written down on my list, but then the rest just flows in and out. My publicist Patti Danos gave me that great time management tip. Each morning, categorize your TO-DO list by: MUST DO, SHOULD DO, CAN LIVE WITHOUT DOING today.

    Today, no to-do list for me. Just enjoying my family. Have a great one.

  3. I enjoy your blog, but I find it ironic that the previous post was about women demanding work-life balance. Then this post is a list of everything accomplished on Friday, with exercise conspicuously left undone – the one activity during the day that would most benefit your energy, health and stress-relief – which makes us stronger for ourselves and for those who depend on us. I know I’m going to sound harsh, and I fully acknowledge that obviously I can only see what’s here in your post. But I’m generally afraid that too many women pat themselves on the back for exactly this kind of busy-ness and sacrifice, bragging about their to-do lists, while saying no to their own health – even when it’s on the list! Then they complain that they are sick and overwhelmed from all that they have to do (I come from an office where this is par for the course and frankly, I’m not impressed). We don’t always have a full hour to work out, but was there no way to fit in even a 10-minute walk – have someone else clean the kitchen, get to school before your daughter’s activity ends and walk around the gym, track or campus? Carry some dumbbells in your car? (not as crazy as it sounds!) It takes a lot for me to miss a day of exercise – however I have to work it in, even if it’s just a 15-minute yoga DVD or getting up 30 minutes earlier to run when I know I have a super-busy day. Sure, missing one or two workouts doesn’t make a difference in the long run, and I have no doubt you’ll be back at it soon, but for many women (it’s happened to me too), it’s so easy to let those missed days add up, until exercise (and even other forms of healthy self-care like dr’s visits) always becomes the first thing we cut out of a busy schedule. Then we stop paying attention to how our minds and bodies rebel against that schedule. We have to train ourselves as much as others to stop demanding and praising this kind of selfless sacrifice – you wouldn’t miss an appointment with a client or a chance to help a friend – so why don’t we give this same attention to ourselves? Let’s give ourselves the same internal rewards for taking care of ourselves that we do for taking care of our families, jobs, friends, and homes. I would encourage us to be able to say on most days, “I had a busy day but I still managed to work out” rather than “I couldn’t work out b/c I was so busy.”

  4. Thanks for the great comments and for challenging me. I appreciate your views and your sharing them. About me and exercise, I usually walk three to five times per week, plus a bit of tennis, and now I’m doing some hip hop dance exercise in the morning, which I love. Admittedly, I work many more hours than I exercise, but here’s the deal…I LOVE my work and it feeds my soul (it’s not self-sacrifice, it’s joy). My day is not made up of “busy-ness” but heartfelt activities that give my life meaning. My to-do list is fun and exciting to me. Interesting that to you it felt like I (and other women) are bragging in sharing their to-do lists – not my intention. My hope is that everyone feels predominantly excited (not burdened and over-exhausted) by their to-do lists, and might share a few. I feel very much alive and healthy when I’m working, because it stimulates all aspects of me. It’s important not to assume that one’s work (or family life, or any other tasks, responsibilities and activities) are burdensome, or to lump “work” or “family” into the category of selfless sacrifice. Work and my family life nourishes me inside and out. Exercise can do that too, certainly, but exercise for me invorigates me on several levels, while my professional and family endeavors stimulate me on all levels (including the physical). So, what would “benefit” all of us best is not up to someone else to decide – it’s up to the individual. Glad your commitment to exercise nourishes you inside and out. Awesome!

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