Chances are you have a TO DO list that is longer than today…maybe even this week or this month. The pressure that can put on you is huge.

Parenting only makes it more complicated.  Every parent wants their child to succeed and do well in life, and it seems the opportunities for them to gain an edge come earlier and earlier in life. From swimming lessons to flash cards, from T-ball to football and dance to music lessons, families have an array of options in front of them that stretch calendars, bank accounts and physical limits. The pace of our lives is exhausting.

So here’s an idea for all of us who feel overwhelmed. Sit down today and start creating a list of things you are going to stop doing and things you simply decide you won’t do. Call it a ‘To-Don’t’ list.

Here are some ways to begin:

Cut an activity your child is currently engaged in. You can decide to do this however you want, but we decided that our kids would do music and one sport at a time.  And that was about all they did. Even with just two kids, that’s a lot of activity.

Cut something from your personal calendar. It’s not just what your kids are up to, it’s what you’re juggling as well. The more complicated your life is, the more complicated your family life is.

Decide ahead of time what you won’t do.This will take some thought and reflection, but a lot of times we agree to something because it came up in the moment and we were caught off guard.

Think about it. Requests come in almost every day. More and more, my wife and I ask for time to think about something and talk it through before saying ‘yes.’

Creating a ‘To-Don’t’ list will help:

Give more meaning to what you do.

Give you more energy for what you do.

Give you more joy in what you do.

Give more focus to what you do.

Finally, it will help create margin to enjoy some of the great moments that come from simply being together.

What’s your experience with this? Do you have a ‘To-Don’t’ list? What might happen if you created one?