List oppression

Some days, when the to-do list is long, I end up feeling that I’ve accomplished nothing.

I didn’t finish that research project. I didn’t write that column for the local newspaper. I didn’t respond to three of my friends. I didn’t catch up on my blog posts. I didn’t mail those packages to my sisters. I didn’t get the Pakistan business plan wrapped up. I didn’t go to the gym or even stretch my shoulder.

In the end I realized: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in myself but in my list.

My lists are just too much. I have too many projects, too much to keep track of. Just keeping my lists updated takes too much time – I have 15 of them in my GoTasks app. And then I feel guilty when I don’t do everything.

Here’s what I DID do today:

I got answers to the outstanding questions in the business plan from my counterpart in Pakistan, which required an exhausting 45-minute phone call.

I had a long call with one very dear friend, which was made me feel better about a lot of small things that had been bothering me.

I put in a solid hour and a half on the research project, which is why I had to shove aside my other friends, so that I could concentrate for long enough to make some progress.

I spent two hours on my glass art, which relaxed me and was the one part of the day that felt like I accomplished something.
glass March 26

I took a nap, and that helped my shoulder.

I finally got the insurance company to approve the estimates on repairs to the flooded basement, almost a month after the claim was made – which took a 20-minute call to the estimator, a second careful review of the documents, and a long message to the adjuster.

I wrote Wednesday’s blog post, which was long, and I know what I’m writing for yesterday’s. Just can’t finish it today.

I made dinner, which included learning a new technique for cooking spicy garlic eggplant.

I continued reading a book about the brain, which gave me more ideas for angles to write about it.

And I watched a movie with my honey… Spending time with him is the highlight of any day.

When I list it like that, the day doesn’t seem like such an underachievement.

So maybe what I need is a “Did It” app where I can list my accomplishments, instead of a “To Do List” app with 15 different lists on it.

Today’s penny is a 2014, the year that I adopted the Go Tasks to-do list app. It’s not their fault.

4 thoughts on “List oppression”

  1. A ‘Did It’ list should be the new thing – I agree. We’d all feel much better about ourselves.

  2. Your accomplishment list is massive. For cryingoutloud! And, ps, the glass art pic…reminds me of the thrill I used to have when opening a Whitman’s Sampler with that map in the lid that showed what was in each spot and layer. I have not thought of that in years. The longer I looked at it, the more the thought faded….the art looks nothing like that box…but for a split second it took me somewhere really great. Thank you.

    1. LOL I love the Whitman’s comparison, actually! I also used to delight in anticipating (and picking over) those chocolates. Happy to have revived that memory for you.

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