Measuring the Quality of Your Day with a To-Be List (Not Just a To-Do List)

Posted by on September 9, 2017 in Conscious Evolution, Conscious Living with 0 Comments

By Nancy Daley | Tiny Buddha

“Don’t equate your self-worth with how well you do in life.  You aren’t what you do. If you are what you do, than when you don’t…you aren’t.” ~Wayne Dyer

As you crawl into bed, thump your pillow to make the perfect little cave for your head to rest in, pull the covers up tight under your chin, and let go of that big sigh that indicates the day is finished, how do you look back on the waking hours you just experienced? How do you measure the quality of your day?

Measuring Your Day by What You Do

Most of us will measure our day by what we did. We will reflect back and count the things on the to-do list we were able to check off. The more check marks, the better.

How well we did will also come into play as we reflect back on our doing. The more praise we received for it, either the self-provided kind or that offered by others, the higher we rank our day in terms of quality.

We may compare our daily accomplishments to those of the people who trudged through the hours with us. “Did I do more or better that Jim, John, or Mary?” No matter how much we goofed up, if Mary goofed up more, than we can sigh with relief and call it a good day as we close our eyes for the night.

The Not So Good Days of Doing

What happens, however, if you never got done what you wanted to get done or if what you did was simply more of the same old drudgery that fills most of your days? If you didn’t do what you had planned well or, heaven forbid, you screwed up royally and had others chastise you for it, chances are you are thumping your pillow a little harder than necessary.

Your ability to fall asleep may also be disturbed as you ruminate regretfully over all the things you did that you wish you didn’t. Tonight you may be giving Mary something to smile about.

So is it safe to say you had a bad day when you didn’t do enough or do it well enough? Only if that is how you choose to measure life quality, the way I did for most of my life.

Learning the Hard Way

I have given the Marys of this world plenty to feel good about over the years. I have spent many nights abusing my pillow and tossing and turning as I reflected back on the dids and did nots of my waking hours. I spent my days as a check mark addict, a praise dependent, and a competitive comparison seeker.

I was compelled to set one goal after the other; to constantly add “just one more’’ thing to my mile long to-do list. I believed I had to do in order to feel like I was enough. So I did and I did and I did until I could do no more.

I got sick. I was forced to cut back on the doing and face the reality of my situation. Now, I consider myself a pathological doer in recovery.

Most of us still measure the quality of our daily experiences, the quality of our lives by what we do. We seldom determine the value of our life experience by how we are or on the beingness of it all.

What would happen if we did?

A Day Based on Being Rather Than Doing

What if you and I ignored the urge to check out the check marks on our to-do lists before getting into our PJ’s and brushing our teeth? What if we sat quietly somewhere before bed and reflected on how we were that day; how we felt and how others seemed to feel around us rather than on what we accomplished and who we did more than? Would the quality of our day change?

I know the quality of my life has changed since I began to measure my day differently. In fact, my life improved almost immediately when I began, at the end of the day, to reflect on the questions that really matter.


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