Friday, 21 September 2012

The Demise of To Do

After years of trying to take control of my life with an electronic 'To Do' list that was way longer than an orang-utan's arm, it's gone.  Aides-memoires stay because, by Jiminy, I need them to maintain order in an action packed life.    My wipeboard to plan big projects, a blackboard that I write on when I run out of something in the kitchen  and a spreadsheet summarising where I am with each individual on my  work caseload stays.  But that obsessive list,  itemising every single thing that I ever, ever need to do has been torn up to make pretty confetti- metaphorically of course as it was always in electronic form.

What I finally realised was that David Allen's system of recording absolutely everything, that was supposed to be the key to stress-free life, in fact exacerbated anxiety.  It may work for others but for me it was a no-no.  I don't need 'Hoover the Car' to be on a list in order to remember to do it.  The results of a lunchbox  popcorn spillage are evident that everytime I make a journey.    The fact when I look out of the kitchen window and see that the garden has turned into mini-beast paradise is sufficient to tell me that the lawn needs mowing. Oh, and  it's quite obvious that my legs need shaving if I've left them for a couple of weeks.  That orang-utan analogy returns to live another day!

Those written notes hammering away were just like having  a nagging spouse constantly and unnecessarily reminding me of all my misdemeanours whenever I switched on my phone.   So in the spirit of being nicer to myself  'To Do' has been transformed into a much more concise form.  And what do you know?  I'm getting  much more done than I ever did before.

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