Tyranny of the “To-Do” List


What’s To Love?

There’s a lot to love about my to-do list. It gets me going. It gives me structure. It makes me feel like I belong in the world…after all, I have things to do. I must count. And it keeps me from lying aimlessly on the couch, counting the beads on my popcorn ceiling.

Yes, I know popcorn ceilings are out of style. I’ll put popcorn removal on my to-do list.

I don’t remember when I started answering to this paper dictator. Maybe yours is a digital dictator. At some point, though, it seemed like a good idea.

The Down Side

It must have been in college, when I had more assignments than time. Then it carried over into my real life. The problem is, I’ve started carrying it around the house with me, and never remember where I put it.

Now I need a “Find-My-To Do-List” app. Yet, walking around my house from room to room does add more steps on my Apple Watch. That’s an upside.

The downside is my overly ambitious list making. Why did I think I could accomplish seven  important tasks in one day? As I get into bed, I see the items with no check by their name. In the wide world of sports, this is called the agony of defeat.

Rename the List?

Maybe I should change the name of the list from “To Do” List to “We’ll See” List. Yes, “We’ll See”. That’s a phrase your parents used to use, and it always meant either “No,”  or “Ask me next week and I hope you forget”.

A “We’ll See” list almost seems like a “Get Out of Jail” card. I like it.

But some of those things on my lists are actually “Do this or else” items. Leave these undone and bad stuff can happen. After all, people count on me. My cat counts on me.

Have you ever said, “We’ll see,” to a hungry cat? You don’t have to answer that. That’s why they call it a “To Do” list. It’s stuff you have to do.

Bottom line, I’m grateful for my “To Do” List. My cat is happy and it keeps me off the couch.


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