Love ’em or hate ’em, you’ve probably tried to keep a written to do list at some point.
There’s a funny thing about to do lists. They can make you feel sooooo guilty.
If your to do list makes you feel guilty, you’ve probably forgotten one very important thing that your to do list can do for you…
But before I get to that, what do you know, assume, think, or feel your to do list should be doing?
A to do list is supposed to make you get stuff done, right? If you put it on your list, that means that you should do it?? And you should probably do it by a certain date??? So if you didn’t do it, or you didn’t do it by X date, that means you failed, right?
Queue the guilty look.
No. Just no.
Thankfully, that’s not the whole story. A written to do list is just a place to park your commitments. It’s just a tool that you can use to make sure you remember about the things that you said you were going to do. Or in some cases, the things that you wanted to do. Like money, a to do list is non-judgmental. It’s amoral, as the economists and philosophers would say.
There is no to do list police, just like there is no blue ribbon won for best to do list management.
Here’s what you forgot about your written to do list.
Those tasks on your to do list are YOUR priorities. That means that you can do them. Or not. You can remove them from your list entirely. Or you can defer them to some later date.
That’s right…YOU can decide to defer things on your to do list. And you can do it guilt-free.
I recently had a couple of tough weeks. We had illnesses, kids off of school, a heavy workload, you know, the usual crazy. There were a few days, maybe a whole week, when I didn’t look at my to do list at all.
I just couldn’t do it.
When I was finally able to get back to a more normal schedule, my to do list as still waiting there for me, holding all of my commitments and plans, and with a five minute review and rescheduling of the past-due tasks, I was magically back on track. Most people in my world had no idea that I felt like I had fallen behind.
Five minutes. No judgement.
So if you forgot that you can defer items on your to do list, now you know.
Your written to do list is a tool. It’s a safe place to hold things you said you’ll do.
Stop feeling guilty.
Embrace the freedom that a written to do list gives you.
Enjoy your written to do list as you turn over a new leaf to get more organized.
Need to read this again later? Pin for inspiration.