We all talk about ‘to do lists’ we all seem to keep them in some format or another – for me a scrappy piece of paper, the back of a receipt or a post it note is sufficient. For others, it may be a typed and printed list, a beautifully written and decorated list in different colours, a number of reminders set to go off with an alarm on their phone.
How are they structured? Mine are usually chronological – what do I need to get done in the morning, afternoon, evening. At times it may just become a random list as the ‘to dos’ come to mind with no real structure or time frame.
How often do you write one for? For me, i have to be honest it’s daily – I think I would feel overwhelmed if I attempted to do a week or heaven forbid a month.
Why? This is the real question I’m trying to uncover. Is it the part of human nature that craves structure? Is it so that we feel productive? To prove we are not lazy? Do we share them with others because we need approval or because we want someone else to check up on us or purely just for motivation sake?
Also, are they really our honest ‘to dos’? I mean usually we only put the mundane don’t we?
For example mine today looks like this
- Print out youth work information
- Job search
- Go to Asda
- Prep Lunch
- Have Lunch with friend
- Prep Dinner
- Put Dinner on
There is nothing surprising or out of the ordinary there, nothing that challenging, nothing that involves much effort or humanity. I’m sure there are plenty of ‘to dos’ that we have which are longer term, which we would never put on a list.
If i were to be honest maybe I would add
- Call mum and talk about redundancy, meeting up and her friend who has cancer
- Call work colleague who called me three times over the weekend and I ignored.
- Call one of my best friends and actually talk to her rather than just texting
- Have a look at courses I might like to do
- Seriously consider what I want to do next job wise rather than just looking at the same sort of jobs
- Stop hiding behind excuses and actually re establish contact with certain people
Now what you notice as I have written that is that they are mostly about relationship with other people, or spending time thinking about myself and what I really want to do. Now these are the things that should be on our ‘to do lists’
We may not achieve them all in one day. one week, one month or even one year but at least we would be working towards them. There is a danger in hiding behind the mundane and convincing ourselves we are being productive and getting things done, ticking them off the list. But are we really living?
So my challenge to you today, seeing as I have been honest and written a true to do list for myself is for you to do the same – let’s start living and stop just existing, let’s be a little revolutionary in our own lives.
Go on – write that honest to do list now.