Todo List – Friend or Foe?
Post # 1: Introduction



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About this series

Maybe you know this feeling – being in an endless chase after ‘completing lists’ and ‘erasing tasks from your productivity apps.’
It doesn’t have to be like that. There are other ways todo.
Yet, changing it is a process.
Personally, I am still in the midst of this process of redefining my relationships with
my to-dos; but it is a beautiful journey.

This series will offer ways to befriend our todo lists.
I have bountiful knowledge to share about to-do lists; some of it is practical; some of a reflective nature, offering a different angle of perception on the subject.

The ideas I will share with you were tested countless times on myself and with others; I either read about them – and will always share the source, or was carving them myself out of years of contemplating it with my amazing clients or alone.
I won’t be writing so much on the “right way” to write lists and the fantastic advice that is known to most and is the basics.

I suggest that you take just what feels right for you and walk the steps slowly. It’s wise to try one-thing-at-a-time when we implement change.

Friend or foe then?

Well, maybe it is for us to determine.
Maybe it demands our conscious attempt to change our relationship with our lists;
or going deeper into the matter, change our doing patterns.

Lists can help us stay focused and be more relaxed
and in control of the countless things we have or wish to do.
But it seems that in our hectic modern world, the tables were turned;
it is as if the ruler became the ruled.
Instead of the lists helping us, we often feel we have to please them.
How funny is that?

The tendency to anthropomorphize to-do lists

As strange as it may sound, many people perceive their to-do list as if it was a person.
If I were to make a short clip to illustrate it, I would choose to make a mute video, where just by looking at the body language of different people talking about their lists, you could easily see what I mean.
As if the list has a life of its own; and in a way it does.

Here are some of the common examples of the ways people relate to their lists:

  • Being scared of it.
  • Feeling it is going to scold them if they don’t behave; feeling guilty in their presence.
  • Hating it; being angry at it.
  • Loving it; being proud of it; being totally attached to it.
  • Wanting to conquer it, or else they say it will bury them alive.

Others are feeling nervous or worried for not a having one at all.

Seriously? I never thought about it like this.

Well, this is my observation from hundreds of encounters with all kinds of to-do lists and their owners 😊. It is not just a theory; trust me, I know.
Even if you never noticed it and are sure that it doesn’t apply to you,
I still invite you to follow this series – it’s not a requirement to connect to this notion, and you can still benefit from the content if you’re having some trouble with your list.

Anyway, I humbly suggest you stay open and curious regarding this definition and observe its truthiness for a while in your day-to-day life.

You can even play a little game if you want to laugh a bit:
Just ask people any question about their to-do list.
Ask them whatever: like how they cope with it, where they keep it and likewise.
Then watch their body language and facial expressions; listen to the way they speak about it and their tone.
You may be surprised, although clearly, it does not apply to everyone.

A sneak peek at what is coming next

 Naming the list – a simple trick that works
 The 100% done lists – a myth to break
 A way to approach prioritizing
 The Mamalist – our dear master list
 How to deal with “rolling tasks”

What to-do?

This time I will end this post just with the contemplation I suggested above.
I encourage you to check your relationship with your to-do lists and
the way you follow them.

Are they friendly and supportive?
Or are they more of an emasculating one?
Maybe it is ambivalent?

Thank you for reading and Good-Luck to all of us in our little contemplation!
The next post in this series is concise and fun;
I am warmly inviting you to read it soon.

(Be kind to yourself),

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