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5 Writing Prompts To-DO! + Have you cleaned your plate?
January 26, 2017
Jan. 26, 2017

Have you cleaned your plate?

This is an interesting time of year.

Here’s what I mean…

Winter is a time of rest and rejuvenation for the natural world.

Some animals hibernate. Plants lose their leaves and stay dormmate for a while. And, some people prefer to be indoors cuddled by a warm fire and sipping hot chocolate.

But, at the same time…right now, there is a gearing up taking place all around us.

New semesters begin at colleges and K-12 schools. A new president took office and hit the ground running making lots of changes…

And then there are to-do lists.

You know, like, the steps for working on large goals you want to accomplish.

Or, taking care of personal to-do lists . . . like, the what-must-be-done-before-spring list.

While nature rests, many humans have not cleared their plate long enough to wash it and put it back in the cupboard . . . and rest.

If this is happening to you right now, you may feel overwhelmed and hopeless that you’ll never scratch off the last item on your ever growing to-do list – or lists, plural.

And, that can rob you of happiness, because the things you really love and want to do for yourself are always last – like reading a new book, playing with your kids or pets, going on a date night with your loved one, finally organizing your desk, or practicing a foreign language you’re learning.

When life gets like this, it’s helpful to take little steps towards finishing these tasks. Each day.

Little tiny steps are still steps.

For example . . . here are some tiny steps…

As writers, write one paragraph first thing in the morning. Doing so over one week creates five paragraphs – practically an essay!

In the classroom, it might be grading two papers before a parent or staff meeting.

At home, it might be doing one load of laundry or cleaning one shelf in the pantry.

Whatever it is… take one tiny step towards finishing it. Then reward yourself for doing so by doing something you love.

Like, reading that book you’ve wanted to start for 10 minutes. Practicing that foreign language for 10 minutes. Or, organize just one drawer in your desk. May be, even just take a nice, hot bath.

Many people look only at what they didn’t accomplish each day and fail to see the beauty in all that they did complete.

So, what can you do to clean your plate?

What incomplete tasks are important to you? What do you really want to finish? Keep those items, and let the rest go. Delegate. Say no. Downsize. Simplify.

What tiny step will you take today, so you can clean your plate and put it back in the cupboard . . . and rest?

All the best,


5 Writing Prompts

1. What is time? (Don’t look it up in the dictionary!) How would you define it? Write about how you define time and what time means to you.

2. Have you ever lost your to-do list? Write about the time you lost your to-do list and what happened.

3. Write an act for a play about characters who have too much to do and no time to do it. Will they ever get it all done? You decide.

4. Henry David Thoreau said, “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.” What would you do to simplify your life and reduce your to-do list(s).

5. Create a to-do list for your dog or other pet. Write about the list and how important those items are to him or her.

Note to Subscribers: The writing prompts can be used in the classroom or for creative free writing. Adapt them for your situation. Enjoy and be creative!

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