Tag Archives: To-Do Lists

How To Do What You Have To Do

12 Mar

1500907987594My dears, I need to tell you: there’s too much in my life right now. There’s too much to read, to watch, to think, to do. I was unable to get around to posting last month simply because I had too much on my plate and only a salad fork to eat it with. I would offer my apologies, but I just don’t have the time.

Of course, I’m not the only one currently in this predicament. From the way your leg is bouncing on your chair, I assume you are as well. Although I’ve clearly not mastered managing my time just yet, I am trying, and I thought I could pass some suggestions on to you as I am always keen to share what I’ve learned (plus now I can cross ‘help readers improve their lives’ off my to-do list).

The first two step is to prioritize. Naturally, keeping yourself and friends/family/pets alive has to be most important. Make sure you eat, sleep, and wash obviously, but you also need time to relax — reading a book, watching a film, staring off into the distance where the ceiling meets the wall —  whatever does it for you. If you don’t look after your body and mind, you’re not going to be able to accomplish anything else.

Now, you may have seen tweets or blog posts about how you need to spend your time only on things that bring you joy or about how you should walk away things that cause you stress. These are tempting policies but utterly unworkable. There are many things in life which are joyless and stressful and still required. It’s useful to remember that the people who post that shite make their money by selling posters and mugs to schmucks before selling their email addresses to telemarketers. You’re better than that — you know you are.

So prioritizing is also important when it comes to the bullshit tasks you have to do. Are you legally or morally obliged to do the thing? Will anyone die if you don’t do the thing? If so, complete those tasks first. Will ignoring or delaying the tasks really negatively affect you? I don’t just mean will you have to accept that you may not be perfect in every single way — that’s something you should be over by now. I just mean, will you lose your home, your income, access to your children, etc? It’s good to avoid those negative  consequences by bumping those tasks up your to-do list, regardless of how bullshit they may be.

It’s also important to get help where you can. I appreciate that not everyone has the luxury of hiring a handsome young man of the homosexual persuasion to do difficult things around the household, like I have. However, perhaps there are some tasks you could afford to outsource. You could get a cleaner or hire a gardener. Remember, local teenagers are always looking for extra money to buy their marijuana — offer them some (money, I mean) in exchange for painting your fence or walking your dog. If you don’t have any extra cash, take advantage of cost-less timesavers like automatic bill payment. Ask your friends who don’t bounce their legs constantly what they do and take on some of their advice. If you’re still working through your not-perfect-in-every-single-way issues, pretend you’re asking for a relative whose doctor is worried about their blood pressure.

(Note: add check blood pressure to your to-do list.)

The final suggestion I’d like to share is to say no when you can. If you’ve seen Christopher around town recently, you’ll notice his cheeks and chin are sporting stubble. Why? Because over the last week, I’ve had to say no each time he’s asked to be shaved. Yes, his sad little face was hard to look at, but I took care of that by simply looking the other way. I cannot do everything; that’s just a simple fact. You can’t either. Sometimes you just have to say no.

Well, I feel I’ve helped you at least a little, so now I can move on to my next task. Let me check my list . . . a nap’s up next and then I need to finish the crossword. If I can get those done in the next three hours, I may, just may, have time to take a straight razor to Christopher’s soapy face.