So my youngest is off to school this month and with him goes my excuse for not getting through my never ending To Do list: all those boring bits of household admin, piles of stuff I’ve been intending to sort out for months or years, things to take back to places (if I can only find the receipt), a toaster to get fixed, bits of things to find or repair, the entire cupboard I’ve got which is full of stuff I’m going to sell on eBay … as well as friends to phone and thank you cards to write and people I must catch up with. Oh yes, it will all be done and in a couple of months I’ll be super organised with an orderly house, a clear conscience and everything will run like clockwork and I’ll be able to get on with writing a novel. It’ll be entitled 50 Shameful Things I’ve Been Meaning to do but Still Haven’t Done. It’s a pipe dream isn’t it? Because no sooner have you sorted out one thing than another pops up or you get distracted half way through and don’t finish it. We give priority to the things that are easily achieved (eg ordering something online) and put off the horrible stuff until the last minute (eg tax return) or never get around to doing them at all.
But the nice thing is, I know it’s not just me: a friend admitted recently that she’d been driving around without an MOT for 4 months without even realising; my retired aunt has been “sorting her house out” for the past 10 years and it doesn’t look any different, another friend tells me she’s stopped writing To Do lists because they just send her into a panic – she feels freed from the tyranny of having a list of things to do hanging over her head but regularly forgets her godchildren’s birthdays and misses appointments. The thing is, (and this is something a life coach/motivational expert will never tell you), I’ve learnt that sometimes procrastination pays off. Some problems miraculously seem to sort themselves
out before you’ve thrown time and money at them. Take for example, the mysterious light on my dashboard which apparently has to be fixed (at a cost of £2,000) before the car will pass its next MOT (though it’s worked fine with the light on for the past 6 months) – a local garage has now told me they’ve found a much less costly way of repairing it. Well, thank goodness I wasn’t organised enough with the time and funds to address it sooner.
Let’s be honest, trying to conquer a To Do list is like trying to push water uphill. And trying to do so will only make you stressed. It’s a futile exercise and I might just as well crack on with my novel… right after I’ve browsed through the Literature Festival brochure and texted my friend back and got the kids a biscuit…
Wishing you a productive September!