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FE-MAIL TIES - The heart of the matter

Published:Monday | January 25, 2010 | 12:00 AM

D-Empress, Contributor


The Accomplishment list

I come from a long line of highly efficient women. Take my dear departed grandmother, Ma Bell, well known in Duncans, Trelawny as a spirited businesswoman who ran her grocery store and raised nine children. My paternal grandmother in Biabou, St Vincent, reigned as the matriarch in a family of voyagers sprinkled across the Caribbean and beyond.

Efficiency in managing affairs, business, family or otherwise, are key skill sets we were taught as children. Ma Bell's key tool was the 'to-do' list. From generation to generation, I'm always amazed at how making endless 'to do' lists are a major pre-occupation.

From lists on the fridge, to the whiteboard in the kitchen, to the portable 'to do' lists stashed safely away in the handbag - always close at hand should another 'to do' item flash like lightening while on the go. Let's not forget the beautiful little note pad that sits winking at you by your bedside. Ring any bells?


I've seen some of the male members of the family look wryly at the 'to do' lists and quiver at the thought!

I wonder, are 'to do' lists the most efficient way of getting through the day? Now, I'm not saying Ma Bell or any other avid 'to do listers' are not moving mountains - they did and they still are! Fact is, all the 'to do listers' I know are also continually exhausted! Why? Mainly because by the end of the day there are still so many items that have not been ticked off. The resultant energy around the 'to do' list is an enduring sense of inefficiency and, ultimately, failure.

Whilst we may not consciously acknowledge the deeply eroding effect this has on our wellspring of joy, most of us know what it's like to add more 'to do' items to the list that was made on Monday and now it's Friday!

Business sages have long given us charts and lists, electronic and hand-made, to help us be more efficient with time and our brain power, but methinks this is all clutter. Seems to me, even the 'not to list' which emerged a couple of years ago is too much focus on the very outcome we don't want.

We need an energy and perspective shift to help propel us gently through the day, in joyous appreciation of what we have achieved, not constant reminders of what we have not managed to do!

Ponder a while what could happen if the 'to do' list were written as an accomplishment list last thing at night. In this way, after a deep and restful sleep, you wake knowing it has already been done. Having set yourself in the mode and belief that it is already done, it is literally so, done!

I'm for a new efficiency measure - accomplishment. Life becomes much lighter, clearer and rewarding from this perspective. So, Ma Bell et al, we are grateful for having lived the experience of the 'to do' list. We have now evolved to the accomplishment list.

Email: d.empressheart@gmail.com, blog: femailheart.blogspot.com