The Not-To-Do List

In my last entry, I discussed how it’s okay to say no sometimes to things because, let’s face it, there’s only one of you and oftentimes a dozen people asking for a hundred things from you. I shared how this has especially been a personal struggle for me for the past couple of years. Sometimes, not often, but sometimes, I will have a breakdown where I feel overwhelmed and disappointed with myself for not accomplishing everything on my to-do list or for saying no to a favor and thereby disappointing a friend, a colleague, even a stranger.

My husband, John, hates seeing me upset. He’s constantly sending me articles or podcasts about efficiency, priorities, and time management (which I subsequently add to my to-listen/read list). I think I’m detail-oriented and meticulous. He thinks I’m anal. I think he’s careless and lazy. He thinks he’s efficient. I guess we complement each other.

John recently sent me this short podcast by Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek. I’m notorious for making elaborate to-do lists. One time, a friend teased me because she saw I had “watch the Oscars” on my calendar.

“Your TV has to make an appointment with you?” she laughed.

“Yes,” I said. “Get in line. Your making fun of me is not on the agenda.”

I know I can go overboard with the to-do list. And there are so many times when I look at my list and want to crawl into my closet and hide. But this podcast from Ferriss entitled, ”The 9 Habits to Stop Now: The Not-To-Do List,” is helpful. Even better, it’s short, so I could quickly get back to my to-do—er, not-to-do—list. I listened to it over my lunch break. Now I might have to read the book.

Have you read The 4-Hour Workweek? What are your thoughts? Have you applied any of Ferriss’ advice to your own life? Has it been helpful?

Living As a person with Neuromyelitis Optica/NMO, my health and staving off attacks should be first priorities. That means I need to prioritize lower stress levels, which means decreasing any feelings of overwhelm, which means making a not-to-do list. It’s definitely going to be a challenge for me, but hey, I’ve conquered crazier things.

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