Start, Stop & Change: To Do list

The world can be divided into two camps: People who make lists and those who don’t. I know who I am.

It seems I’ve spent a lifetime making To Do lists. Scribbled on notepads, written neatly in planners, entered into apps…

I’m this person: If I complete a task that wasn’t originally on my To Do list, I’ll add it just for the satisfaction of putting a line through it.

Because I get an unmistakable jolt of adrenaline every time I mark something off. Putting a line through items on my To Do list is evidence of my productivity. It’s an attagirl.

And truth be told, I’m probably a little addicted to it.

But no matter how long the list and how many items get checked off, my focus always seems to go to what I didn’t get done.

Instead of basking in the glow of the 48 To Dos I marked off, it’s the three I didn’t get done that take center stage. That somehow have more weight. That get to rain on the parade of what I did accomplish.

Well, I’m done.

Not with To Do lists. But I’m done with focusing on what I didn’t get done. I’m done with what I didn’t overshadowing what I did.

Even on my most productive day when I’m focused and in flow, I won’t get to everything on my To Do list.

And from now on, I’m going to be OK with that.

Because it’s a blessing there’s always more to do tomorrow. More to tend to, take care of, tick off. I’m afraid the alternative is being done—with life.

So at the end of the day, when I look over my To Do list, I’m only going to see what I got done. Whether one task or dozens, I’m going to embrace what I accomplished.

Are you a list maker? Can you relate to the subtle self-sabotage of focusing more on what you didn’t get done than what you did?