Making to dos into I wont’s

photo by Jill E. Williams

If I am completely honest, there are quite a few don’t wanna dos on this morning’s to do list.  

That right there was this morning’s status update on Facebook which reminded me of a to do list item from last week and thus inspired today’s blog post.

You see, last week I wrote something on my to do list that I felt like I needed to do.  My to do list spans the whole week, and I scheduled that particular to do on Monday because, you know, you should do the worst things first.

And then I skipped it.  So at the end of Monday, when I was prepping for Tuesday, I moved that to do list item to Tuesday.

And then I skipped it. So at the end of Tuesday, when I was prepping for Wednesday, I moved that to do list item to Wednesday.

And, well, you know what happened on Wednesday, right? So on Thursday, I was starting at that dang item and I just clearly thought, “I don’t want to do it.  I do not want to do it.”  And then I thought, “well, then you don’t have to do it.”  And I scratched it off my list as if it had been done though it hadn’t (and, guess what, it won’t be).  Because it was done in my mind– my responsibility to it was done.

Fortunately, this was the type of to do that I was making myself do but that didn’t really involve anyone else so I could just decide against doing it without having to involve anyone else in my NO (or, truth be told, I was going to instigate a project with someone else, unbeknownst to that person, that I just happened to give myself enough time to realize wasn’t a project that I was excited enough about– it was something I felt like I outta do but not something I felt compelled to do, if that makes sense).

I loved the brightness of this aha moment.  If I am resistant to doing something on my to do list, it may not be just about “I don’t want to do this right now”, it might actually be “I don’t want to do this at all.”  I mentioned earlier that I am trying very hard to create a time margin in my life and to go more pure with my activities, and I am so relieved that I gave myself the breathing room with this particular to do list item to allow myself to do just that.

Have you ever found that something on your to do list was actually something you didn’t want to do?  What did you do?  How do you discern if there’s something you really don’t want to do in front of you?


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5 responses to “Making to dos into I wont’s”

  1. Brian

    I am a chronic procrastinator. And I don’t do physical lists. I have a running list in my mind, but I never take the time to flesh it out on paper. Which is why it is rather easy to skip things that I find unpleasant. Such as making that phone call I need to make, or logging into that website and clearing some stuff up before that big cold snowball hits me on the way down the hill.

    Maybe I just need to write it all down and get to it . . .

  2. Mary Rose

    I am the chronic organizer. That is not to say that my tasks are always completed, my ideas do not always come to fruittion (in MY time)and I often reserve the right to change my mind. That being said…there is always a blank line or two left on my list. For ‘just in case’ items.
    For instance; if a friend (Rosie) needs help or encouragement gettin’ it done…(rather than get a stomach ache about it)…you are welcome to call 😉

  3. Tami -- Teacher Goes Back to School

    here is the one place my last child shows, i have a knack for i’m not gonna just cuz i don’t wanna.

    oh my, i can only see how this will haunt me as a parent.

  4. choirqueer

    One of my to-do list tricks is to put a question mark beside things I’m not quite sure I want to commit to doing. If something has a question mark next to it, I get to cross it off at the end of the day, regardless of whether I did it or not.

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