To-do-lists? are fun!
To-do-lists are something I make from time to time. I know, when I finish my to-do-list, I am most likely not going to do anything on it. My to-do-lists end up being nothing but lists of historical things I should have done but didn’t. It is basically, a prophetic glimpse into the future to determine the things in my life I will not achieve.
Why do I make them? I guess for the same reason ADHD people do many of things we do. It’s Fun! I really enjoy when I am on break at work and I happen to have a notepad handy. A feeling comes over me and I say, “Yeah, I am going to finally take care of some things at home” or “I am going to take charge of my life today!” I vigilantly begin making my list. I get inspired knowing that today is the day my life will change. The flames of passion burn into my notepad, and I know when this list is completed I will feel great and I will relish in what I am sure is to be certain victory.
After the list is complete I go over it line by line and think how much better things will be when I complete this, or how much easier things will be when I get rid of that. I read my own list and I feel inspired about my life. I can’t wait for my wife to see all of these things come to fruition as she will be proud of me. She will wonder what all this is about, and I can say, “Hey babe, I just decided enough is enough”. I always feel proud and inspired by my lists.
When I go back to work from my break, I am a new man. I am ready for these next four hours to end so I can get busy improving my life. I am in a better mood than I was before my break. As I progress through my day, my attention is drawn back to the responsibilities of my job. I am now thinking about customers and the things my boss needs me to do. I am now back in job mode. I walk many miles per day at my job and my brain and my body can be over-taxed. As my day continues, I think, one hour, then two, then three hours into it is when I finally say, “Ughh just one more hour to go.” The last hour drags so slow.
Finally the last hour ends and I can now make my glorious walk to the time clock to unhinge myself from work. Clocking out never feels so good because I am tired. I use the energy I have left to walk to my truck. I get into my truck and pull the door shut as I let out a sigh of relief. “AHHHHHH”. It is the end of a grueling day, and now I can finally go home. I turn my head forward and start my truck and there it is. It is sitting right where I left it when I was on my break. It is sitting there and it is laughing at me, mocking me, and it is enjoying my blank stare which I reveal to it with my eyes.
Yes! It is the to-do-list. I pick this thing up and begin to read it again. I read the whole thing and then say, “Yeah right!” I then roll my eyes, crumple it up and throw it onto the floor, where it sits alongside the rest of the garbage covering the floorboard of my truck.
It is not nearly as fun to read now. It just doesn’t feel like such a good idea anymore. My drive home is spent talking to myself and rationalizing all the reasons each one of these things are not in need of immediate attention. Line-by-line I dismiss the validity of this evil list.
“I have worked too hard today to have to worry with this. My room has been a swill-hole for eight years. What is another day going to matter?”
“I have enough clean clothes for two more days; my laundry can wait until tomorrow.”
“The gob of peanut butter on the floor, under my couch, has been there for over a year. It isn’t as if my wife is going to go in there and see it. She probably wouldn’t even know it was peanut butter if she saw it, and I hope she wouldn’t believe it was peanut butter if she did. I have plenty of time to scrape that up.”
“ I don’t need to get the yard mowed tomorrow, I think my step-son Brett is off work anyway, and since he is nineteen years old we will just call it back-rent.”
“I don’t need to clean out the garage, most of the mess in there is tools and I know I have no immediate plans to use them. They too will be happy to wait for me.
By the time I get home, my to-do-list isn’t done but I have justified the foolishness of its existence line by line through the art and practice of self-bullshitting. I must admit by this time, I am feeling better about dismissing it, and I do not in any way feel writing it was a waste of time. This is for two reasons.One; as I said, I enjoyed writing out my to-do-list. I did feel inspired and I was happy. It really did make me feel great. In the end, this was the only thing it accomplished but it was something. Even if for just a short period of time, I was motivated and I proved to myself I do care about the state of my life. Even though I am aware that I care, it is me alone who knows, and this may not be enough. What good is a to-do-list that you are not going to do? That brings us to number two.
Two; to get the full benefit from your to-do-list, you can bring it into the house. Just leave in a not-so-obvious place, where your spouse is certain to find it. They might read it if you make sure the part of the list that says, “to-do-list” is somewhat visible. This curiosity, will spark them and they will have a list of all the important things you want to accomplish. In some rare cases you will get credit for caring about these things that you never even made an effort to do. THAT, my friends is the real and true power of the to-do-list.
The truth is you will do the things that are truly important to you. You will not need a list for them so there is really no point in making one anyway. What is important to me is to play and/or write on my laptop, play video games, spend time with my wife, hang out with my son, and be awesome. I have never put these things on a list. This is what is important to me.
I am Tom Nardone and you are welcome.
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