Todo List – Friend or Foe?
Post #7:The #1 secret our lists don’t tell us

2.5min

Sunyata

This is the heading

Sunyata

If you fully grasp it, your TODO Life will change, seriously 🙂

In this post I want to share with you a discovery that I had many years ago, one that changed my relationships with my todo list.
It can change yours too.

First, here is a quick exercise.
I will ask you to imagine something, but when you do – pay attention to the first thing that comes up in your mind, even before words, try to see/feel how it looks.

Imagine how the list of the most efficient person in the world looks like.
Or how the list of the person you would like to be, would.

Did it look like this?

After so many years of working in this area, I came to see that many of us, when we’re sincere (with-out trying to be rational), have this notion:

Being excellent in handling todo lists

=

Having a list that is “done” (where all the items are strikeout).

If you think about it, most likely you would say that you know it doesn’t make sense, but deep down I believe most of us have this irrational belief.
In turn, this perception makes us feel permanently unsatisfied, or even worse,
it ignites feelings of guilt and helplessness.

But guess what?

Luckily, I met a list who gave me the shirt of her back and shared with me this gem:) :
Lists are not meant to be shortened, finished, complete, EVER.
It is not their purpose at all.
To say it differently, the day our list will be over, is when we will be too :).
Our todo lists only need to change.
They should only be moving in different directions,
never terminated (even if we have this wish).
I know it may sound obvious, but I encourage you to examine this idea
and dig deep inside to check if it is planted somewhere in your mind.

Having worked with dozens of people and their lists,
I can safely say that we do have this hidden desire – to arrive at an “all-done” list.
However, the Good List is one which is changing,
one that has items that were taken out (done or discarded) when new tasks get in.
The aspiration should be movement and not extinction.

When I uprooted this belief, I felt my approach changed and that I can value the fact
that I have a very long listand even be happy when it becomes longer.
I saw how it merely meant that I am inspired to do things, that I am alive, that
my life is abundant.
Admittedly, I do work on getting better in getting things done,
and I savor when I strikeout items in my list.
But these are steps, phases in the ever-changing and growing list.

Since I unraveled this secret of lists, I am still learning how to balance my life
and not getting overwhelmed with things todo; however, I do not carry this
imaginary burden on my shoulders anymore.

I (softly) challenge you to try looking at your lists in this way,
finding ways to help them flow while keeping them alive!

May your list always flower, but with different colors and smells along the way,

Yours,
Sunyata

P.s. It will be lovely if you share below if you did or did not resonate with this post – I am curious to know.

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