Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Improved To-Do List

I can only manage everything that needs to be done by keeping lists. Each morning I organize the list and start by doing the one thing I really don't want to do the most, so that I don't have to think about it anymore; and then work on whatever absolutely has to be done that day next. Then everything else, along with what wasn't at all anticipated, but surfaces any given day.

In the past few weeks what absolutely had to be done was so dominant that it made it fairly clear what is missing from this organizational effort: being sure to actually do something I love or want to do each day.

My poor dog, who loves to go on walks, was finding his outside time cut by about 80%.

So time to improve the to-do list. If you are able to do what you don't want to do, and able to do what absolutely must be done - then at least put on your list things you really want to do - that make you happy. Write them down. Check them off too - just like the bad stuff, the busy stuff and necessary stuff. It changes everything.

1 comment:

Adrian Segar said...

Cindy - reading your post stimulated me to think about my current use of todo lists (which have transformed many times over the years & which I currently maintain in Omnifocus).

I don't actually put pleasant things to do on my todo list any more, though I used to. What I realized, thanks to your post, is that I have somehow internalized the importance of being good to myself in my daily life, and don't seem to need to list good stuff to ensure it isn't crowded out. My todo lists these days exist basically to help ensure that I don't forget important stuff and to plan what's coming up.

Thanks for helping me notice that, yes, it's possible for me to successfully internalize (after years of having to be conscious about it) something that's pretty central to my living a healthy life!