From To-Do to Not-Do
I started to dissect my To-Do list and particularly those things that stuck around. You know, the ones you don’t do, and move them to the next day, and then the next day, and maybe you’ll get around to doing it next week, or next month. Actually I’m not really going to do that at all. Why ? Because I hate it !
As a Minimalist I started to apply the same principles I would with my stuff, to the tasks that I do.
Why on earth would I spend my time, a valuable, some would say, priceless resource, doing things I hate. When so many of us have full time roles, families to support, friends to see, commitments to those we love and care about, the time we have left for ourselves is scarce as it is.
So its about this point when I started to think about a Not-Do list.
Some of the first appearances were:
- Cleaning at the weekends, then cleaning at all. My lovely cleaning lady is just wonderful. Ok, so there’s a financial cost, but the saving on time is of far more value. When the weekend is so short, why would I ever want to spend a huge amount of time in between cleaning. There are definitely more important things to be doing. If everyone made a cleaning contribution of 15 minutes a day as part of their habits, there would be so little to do anyway.
- Staring at the TV, and often falling asleep in front of it. My favourite sleep inducer was CSI Miami. There was something about those sky filters on the bay scenes, and the way he stood with his hands on his hips that just induced deep slumber. Well that and the Friday night screening and a few beers.
- Mowing the lawn and washing the car. It started to become some sort of set for a film. Corporate husband comes home on a Friday, then on Saturday morning he’s washing the car and in the afternoon mowing the lawn. Guess what he’ll be doing next weekend, yep, exactly the same. Just stick your head out of the window and see for yourself. Is that really a fulfilled life.
Ok, so we all have chores, and we want the place to look nice, but do we have to do it every weekend ?
A few weekends ago, I went to Madrid, the one after that we took a stroll over the hills, I’ve been to London, been swimming with the children, went to the pub, had fish and chips, did a BBQ in the rain. Sat in bed with a good book and a glass of wine. Some of these aren’t out of the ordinary, but they are just lovely experiences. They aren’t chores, they are experiences to be cherished and relished.
So often we get stuck into routine, especially at the weekend. We want to just rest and do nothing to get away from that mind-numbing job of ours. Just give me the TV and a beer/glass of wine is almost a default answer. I understand, really I do. I did it too.
Life is short, and most of it isn’t expensive. Come on, surely you can find something more exciting to do. Put that on your To-Do list and put all that terrible other stuff on your Not-Do list.
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