To do lists…

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

To do

  • Shower
  • Print out youth work information
  • Job search
  • Blog
  • Tidy
  • Hoover
  • Go to Asda
  • Prep Lunch
  • Have Lunch with friend
  • Prep Dinner
  • Meeting
  • 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.

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About Louise

30 something teacher, wife, christian, Loves singing, baking, cats, encouragement, sunsets, walks, the sea, reading, smiling, laughing, being around people.
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4 Responses to To do lists…

  1. I read this after completing my own to do list. I am about to go back to work full time after being a sahm for 3 years so my to do list is HUGE! When I first wrote it, it seemed impossible and depressing so I spiced it up with a few things I actually WANT to do, rather than NEED to do. Things like make a date for coffee with friends, take my kids to the baby gym for a last session and walk the long way home from school with my children. Today, after redaing another blog, I have added getting a babysitter and having a date with my husband as well. Now it doesn’t seem so bad. Great post!

    • loukachu says:

      Glad to hear you have spiced up your to do list! I think it’s important to remember we are allowed to have fun and we don’t have to live a life of mundane tasks. Good Luck with going back to work x

  2. Lisa says:

    I am an incessant list-writer… lists galore! For work, for home, I even have a housework diary (lmao). I think a lot of it is just because I like writing, I like words, I like organisation, though I’m not good at the latter!

    Your post reminded me of my ‘resolutions’… I insisted, aged 33, that I would sort my life out so I wrote a list of 33 resolutions – they’re not going so well, so perhaps, actually, I should just ditch the lists?!

    • loukachu says:

      I think lists are fine, especially if they motivate us to attempt things – I think that they can be a positive influence but we just have to make sure we don’t beat ourselves up about not finishing them. It’s good to have something to work towards 🙂

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