Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The 'To Do' List

Like most people, I have a 'To Do' list.  It is both a friend and an enemy.  It keeps me from forgetting things like picking up milk from the store and that I have an appointment at such and such a time, but it also chronicles how much I don't get done. It's like a big, glowing sign of my personal inability to get everything done in a day that I need to without sacrificing every spare moment to the gods of errands.

At the end of the day, I am torn between being proud of what I managed to get done (all in the strange 2 1/2 hour blocks of time my day is divided into by scheduled events I can't change like pick ups and drop off at school) and being disappointed in myself because the list still has stuff on it that likely won't get done, either.  Sometimes, my "To Do" list is miles long, requiring multiple pieces of paper, other days, it is only a handful of items, but it's never completely crossed off.

My solution, for the time being, is to prioritize what gets done each day.  Some things, like appointments, bill paying, and grocery shopping simply can't wait, so they get done, even if everything else is forgotten.  Other things, like scrubbing the grout in the bathroom tend to be ignored until I simply get irritated at seeing the mess and clean it in a flurry one day. I think, in the long term, that I need to redefine my relationship with the list and rename it something that isn't imperious and doesn't make feel like every item on that list should be crossed off at the end of the day.


  1. You can always rename it as an "options" list which sounds more open ended and not so dreary.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Wendy. While "options" does sound more open ended, it would get me in trouble, because I would mentally chalk items on that list up to being optional. The search for a new name continues.


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