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The Lingering To-Dos

I love a good check list. The satisfaction that I get by crossing something off a list is probably the greatest motivator that I have to do anything on the list in the first place. Because of this, I keep lists for everything, and the granddaddy of all of my lists is my To-Do List. This list covers a month at a time, and contains items from every aspect of my life. As soon as I’m done writing this blog, I’ll get to cross that item off the list. Everything that takes more than five minutes to accomplish goes on the list. EVERYTHING.

To-Do List

The easy tasks almost always get done because they’re easy and I like crossing things off. FYI, you should always have easy tasks on your list for those moments when you start to feel overwhelmed and need an easy win. Why yes, I did “dust something,” cross that sucker off! There are the mundane tasks, like laundry, that get done because if you don’t you’ll have to go to work naked and that would just be awkward. Then there are the tasks that have deadlines. I love deadlines. I am a master procrastinator, so deadlines keep me productive. Seriously, embrace the deadlines my friends. These things get crossed off my list regularly, and unless some emergency crops up, they generally get done on the day they’re listed. I like these items.


Then there is my list nemesis … the lingering to-do. These are things that I should get done. They are generally pretty involved, have no immediate consequence if it isn’t done, and have no deadline. These are things like rearrange my closet. This isn’t a pressing need, but it would make my life infinitely easier every time I had to get something from in there, if I just took an evening to rearrange the damn thing. But when that to-do shows up on my list, I know that it can be put off, so I watch a movie instead. That’s how these items just linger. They don’t get done on the day assigned, so I move them down to a future day. That day rolls around, and I simply bump it down once more. And I do this with every lingering to-do I have.

The next thing I know, it’s the end of the month and all of these linger-ers are piled up as sub-listings under the item, “Make New To-Do List,” because I’ve run out of days to move them to. This happens every month! And every month, I dutifully assign the tasks to a new day in the new month and vow to myself that this time I will actually get them done.

No You Won't

That being said, it’s the end of the month and I am vowing that February will be the month that I actually get these things down. February will be the month that annihilate the lingering to-dos! You all are my witnesses, which probably just means that I’ll have witnesses to my failure, but here’s to hoping it lends a little bit of accountability to the effort. Cross your fingers for me!