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inspiring post about to-do lists

My personal to-do list is over 30 pages long. 30 pages of a carefully maintained moleskine consisting of A5 ruled paper, adorned with black ink oozed from a Pilot® Razor Point Pen. I inspect it carefully each morning, looking for quick-wins that I’ll be able to draw a line through, before inevitably turning to the final page in order to add yet another task.

None of that is true.

I don’t even have a to-do list. That’s just how I imagine it’d go if I actually tried to keep one. The last time I logged into Wunderlist was March. The last time I set a reminder on my iPhone was 2013. I have scraps of paper stashed in various places with disparate ideas and plans scrawled on them which, a week after writing, mean nothing to me anymore. Sometimes a thought will come back to me, but I’ll have lost the opportunity to do anything with it.

Oddly, this doesn’t affect my day job. When it comes to getting shit done, I’m actually good at that. I’m not just saying that in case my employer is reading this. Give me a task, I’ll do it. Ask me to come up with a solution to something, I’ll think outside the box, inside the box, make a new box, whatever. It’s only the other things that this affliction applies to; the little things like side projects or hopes and dreams.

Occasionally I’ll read one of the many, many, many How To Be Super Productive! articles out there and I think that yeah, that’d work. But I always come back to the fact that, I’m OK with it being like this.

It hasn’t always been this way – I used to be productive in my “spare” time, churning out stuff simply for the sake of it – but these days, I’m less and less fussed by the notion of working on a random idea I might have had. There’s the obvious reasons like, I’m busy. And I’m old. Also, I have an awesome daughter who is much more interesting than finishing that WordPress theme I was making for WooThemes.. but it’s more than that. It’s not a time thing (or at least, not always). It’s a mindset that I’ve fallen into.

As I said, it doesn’t apply to important tasks like actual work (obvs. I earn my wage), but there’s more to professional fulfilment than actual work. Outside of the grind, I want to get back into the state of doing stuff that I’d like to do. I want to compile that to-do list and start ticking things off.

This only exists because number 1 on my new to-do list was ‘write more’. That quite often crops up on those Be Amazing At Life lists, and I’ve tried it a few times on my blog, but this time, I really mean it. Like, really. Really really.

There’s no epiphany at the end of this. Sorry if you were expecting one. Usually, the big reveal at the end of this type of post is always a “focus. just do the work” type comment, so I’m going to give that a go instead of trying to come up with a decent ending.

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