Thursday, January 7, 2010

"To Do" or "Not To Do"?

Ever notice how the "To Do" list grows faster than items are removed from it?

I know mine does. There are a lot of things on my "To Do" list and they seem to languish there for a while as the list grows ever longer.

I ran across a truism about "to do" lists the other day while talking to a co-worker.

It appears, that in my case anyway, the things that go on the "to do" list are the things I don't really want to do--like paint the ceiling or replace the gas tank in the Jaguar. The items I want to do, or that need to be done whether I want to or not, are actually done.

My "to do" list is a parking lot for those things which need to be done, but which aren't critical. I sometimes use lists to map out my daily tasks if I have a bunch of critical things to do--but all of the things on that "to do" list are things which must be accomplished before I either go home from work or before I go to bed at night, else significant consequences will occur.

So in addition to the two items I've already mentioned here are my current "to do's" and a rough length of time the item has been languishing:

1. Clean the garage (waiting 2 years)
2. Build adequate storage in the garage for the junk (waiting two years)
3. Reduce the amount of stuff in the attic (waiting three years)
4. Order a new door handle for my truck (three months so far)
5. Replace/fix the passenger door lock on my truck (two years)
6. Put the winter mats in the Lexus (two months)
7. Stain the deck (one year)
8. Replace the basement door (two years)
9. Fix the family room French door so it closes smoothly (seems like forever)
10. Get the Jaguar a tune up so it starts easier in the cold (three months)
11. Buy Chris a new rim for the Lexus (too long)
12. You get the idea . . .

Now I admit--a few things have made it off the list recently:

1. Paint the kitchen and Family Room ceilings - took two months
2. Fix Nicole's laptop - took two months
3. Fix my laptop - took one month
4. Take down the Snow Village - got done on time on Jan 2

So, it seems, "to do" lists don't work for me. They become parking lots (or possibly auto junk yards) for projects I don't want to tackle.

So in answer to the question--not to do!

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