[Downsizing Zeal] Ado Doing To-Dos

Do you have too many ceremonies surrounding planning to do things? Does work seem easier because you do what you’re asked or told to do? One of the bigger elements of my own personal clutter is managing my relationship with deciding whether tasks “to do” are even worth doing. If they were worth doing, I’d schedule the time to do them. If I have a trick on solving this issue, it’s about removing the ado.

I used to keep elaborate to-do lists. They never got done.

Sorting through old papers like this stack of years of disparate thoughts will sometimes show lists that look like this:

[x] write
[x] read
[ ] work
[ ] row
[ ] cds
[ ] nes
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]

What I’m learning to do now is to rigorously filter out anything like this, or half-completed thoughts. Before, I would idly browse through these sorts of things with no real intention in mind. Now, I’ll sort out all of the recycling or paperwork that I need to shred. What that does is decrease the decision making complexities. Instead addressing each piece of paper’s needs, I’ll skim off the easy stuff.

Sure, that doesn’t clear out this pile all in one go.

However, weeding out the junk out of the pile can help to navigate the pile to where it needs to go. Eventually, I’d like to just have everything online, either here in the form of a nonfiction essay or fictional story, or having gotten done. As I look around the apartment-mansion, there are many things that I don’t need but have because they’re unfinished. I don’t have a good place to store all my tape, so some reside in my downsizing racks and others in my kitchen.

The more things we have, the more decisions we need to make about them.

If, instead of trying to do “it all,” we focus on our current important task, we can focus on our next important task, then the next after that. Let me give you an example from my life: I have to finish this essay, sleep, then wake up earlier than normal [from my night shift schedule] to see Clutch. Albeit simple, if I didn’t have these clearly-defined to-do items, I’d waste time thinking about what to do instead of doing it. I’d procrastinate on writing, then end up getting less sleep, and possibly, enjoying Clutch less.

Not that that’s possible, but probable nonetheless.

When we listlessly tend to our to-do lists, we don’t really do them as they should be done. When we’re at work, our bosses will complain if we don’t do things well, so why don’t we – our own bosses, of our own realities – do things that we want or need to do when they need to be done? The nature of procrastination, for me, is not knowing how to start a task such as here, where I wasted time trying to figure out what to write about before going through my backlog of pictures and settling on this photo.

Now I’m done.

Endtable:
Quotes: None
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: I came up with the title at some point a few days prior to my writing of this essay and finally built up the courage to break through my procrastination and indecisiveness to write. This isn’t one of my best essays, but I think it explores my thoughts on how I’m learning to just do things rather than list things and then move onto something else.
Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.
Photo: Stack of paperwork with my writing chair in the background.
Written On: October 15th [25 minutes, from 8:29am to 8:54am, WordPress]
Last Edited: October 15th [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.