Making a ‘To-Do’ List of What I Don’t Have To Do

I just read Dawn’s latest diary entry.

She was talking about using ‘to-do’ lists and how they can actually be self-defeating, especially for procrastinators. I would definitely have to agree with her. In fact, at times, I find myself even going more extreme and off the edge when it comes to being obsessive about lists.

Dawn mentioned holding off doing a task until she actually physically puts it on a list. I, on the flip side, have already completed simple tasks, but then delay and waste time retroactively putting them on my calendar and list, just so that I can cross them out. I guess it’s not really a ‘to-do’ list, but a ‘have-done’ list.

I have to ask myself if I need to congratulate myself on the littlest of tasks by making evidence of it. Look mom, look at all the items I crossed out! The time I spent thinking, and trying to remember all that I’ve already done, and documenting it…that time could be better spent working on the next task.

Do I do it to guarantee success? I’m going to put on my ‘to-do’ list items that I’ve already done; therefore, I’m able to cross off everything on my ‘to-do’ list. Look mom, no hands! (That’s probably because she’s still holding mine…)

In essence, mine is a list of what I don’t have to do. Splendid.




Filed under Procrastinator Diaries (Pat)

6 responses to “Making a ‘To-Do’ List of What I Don’t Have To Do

  1. my list of things to do always leaves me with a blank paper.

  2. Thank you for your comment and reply ‘aniche.’ Do you also mean that a list for you is counterproductive? Or do you mean that you are left at a blank when thinking about what to do? There’s so much to do that you freeze?

    Hmmm…just curious with your metaphor of a blank…would be interested to hear more….and I’ll visit your blog to delve deeper.

    Thanks for dropping by our diaries….

  3. To do…read a few blogs, write a post or two…Yeah, I accomplished that, but it is almost 1 in morning. I love to do lists…on Mondays…I forget them on Tuesdays and find them six months later in a pile under the plant stand…then I feel imperfect for not continuing to write and follow their direction…Thanks for making me think… Disorganizedorganizer

  4. Thank you for you comments and visiting the site grandmasheri. Glad my postings made you ponder and reflect. The plant stand, hehe. For me, I keep my scribbled, out-of-date notes, in many shoe boxes and refuse to put them away, thinking that I’ll still get to them one day. But, if we think of it creatively, they make also props for scrapbooks, journaling, and memories. Yes, it’s disheartening to see all the notes, and how much left undone, and all the time spent making notes, but it also provides a treasure chest of materials to make use of.

    Grandmasheri, take one of those lists from under the plant stand, pick an item, and do it…even it’s six months late. Perhaps there’s a reason why you found it now, and it’s meant to be put into action now. Maybe revisiting an old list can give us a perspective and meaning that wouldn’t have been apparent before? Good luck and hope to hear from you often!


  5. dolf


    You know me a little too well…

    I am off to add “read Pats blog” to my list of things to do now. In light of your observations I promise I won’t cross it off the list until morning.

  6. pat

    Dolf? Interesting indeed… hehehe…. I think I have a feeling of who you are, and welcome to this blog.
    Hilarious, concise comment by you that touches on all the ironies of what we do.

    Recently read somebody post some advice about trying to do stuff that takes less than 5 minutes, right away, and don’t even let it get to your list. Use the list for tasks that need longer, but still relatively short term; and for longer term stuff, use the calendar.

    Look forward to reading many of your comments and recommendations to other readings in the future.


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