The Curse of To-Do Lists

Whoever said planning is the way to get ahead in life did not take someone like me into consideration. Not only is planning my worst nightmare, it often proves to be my downfall. I have written many a to-do list only to find that the things listed become the things that I avoid at all cost. I’ve sat down and written to-do lists which look something like this:


  • Start assignment which is due Friday
  • 1 hour gym workout
  • Clean
  • Talk to boss about taking leave to write exams
  • Sew button back onto coat
  • Prepare presentation for Tuesday

There’s something about the act of writing a to-do note like this one which makes me want to avoid ever doing any of these things. I’ll write a to-do list like this on a Monday, and I won’t go to the gym for another month, I’ll only get around to my assignment on the day that it’s due, I’ll hardly prepare the presentation, I won’t speak to my boss about leave until it’s almost too late, I certainly won’t clean and I’ll NEVER sew the button back onto my coat. My to-do list morphs into a mutant what-not-to-do list.

It’s made me realise that I shouldn’t write to-do lists. I’m quite capable of remembering what I have to do in a day, and it seems like listing things together makes everything seem more daunting.

The same principle applies to New Year’s resolutions. Who actually keeps those ‘well-intended’ goals which are often proclaimed in a half-drunken merry stupor anyway? I know I don’t! The year to lose weight becomes the year when every cupcake seems to beckon my name, the year to study hard becomes the year when I wake up with sleep marks on my forehead and drool down my cheek every time I pick up a textbook, the year to get involved in non-profit/charity work becomes the year when I find so many cool new hobbies to fill up my time (none of them involving those less fortunate). The year to get into shape becomes the year of the couch potato olympics – I think you get the picture!

This year I did not make a single New Year’s resolution. Whether that’s a good or bad thing, I’m still trying to decide. One thing I know for sure is that I don’t feel as though I have these weighty goals hanging over my head. It’s August already, and if I’d made any New Year’s resolutions I would definitely be feeling some form of anxiety that the next New Year is fast approaching and the current resolutions are becoming less and less resolute.

If you’re anything like me, don’t, I repeat DO NOT make to-do lists, because they are a curse! And scrap those New Year’s resolutions; if they were really important you would’ve done them by now.

So to end off this post, I’d like to share the new and improved to-do list that I now live by:

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3 Responses to The Curse of To-Do Lists

  1. cass says:

    cool! I agree on the to-do-list curse. It turns every task into a mammoth task. Just remember them and you’ll do fine. And you just reminded me that I haven’t struck off ANYTHING on my New Year resolution!!!!

  2. To Do:

    1. Stop making to-do lists.

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