Declaring “To-Do” Bankruptcy

It would be nice if we could decide one day to declare to-do list bankruptcy. We would just admit to ourselves that the stuff on our to-do list is never going to get done. We’d toss the list away and start fresh. I was thinking about this today because I have a lot of things to do and it seems the list is never-ending.

  • I have some focused development work I need to do this morning that probably requires a large chunk of time. Alas, there is no large chunk of time on my schedule to today. I could push off to tomorrow, however…
  • At 11 am I have my second COVID vaccine. Kelly got her second vaccine yesterday and today, she doesn’t feel great. I plan on working this weekend, but if I am not feeling great tomorrow, it is probably not the best time for focused development work.
  • There is a security light on corner of the house that is out. I need to replace the bulb. First I have to take out the old bulb and figure out what kind it is so that I know what to replace it with. Then I have to go find a replacement. Finally, I have to install the replacement. It involves getting the ladder out from behind the shed. This has been on my list for a while, but it’s not going to get done any time soon.
  • I need to get the deck furniture back out on the deck, and put up the deck tent. I was supposed to do that this past weekend, but it was raining and I didn’t want to do it in the rain.
  • My office could use a new desk. The Little Man got a new desk in his room yesterday (a new “used” desk) and it reminded me that I have been wanting a new desk for some time now. But replacing the desk is more than just picking out a new one. It usually has to be put together. I have to dismantle the old desk, which is going to involve a lot of messing with the cables behind the old desk. Since I want to do it right, I need a lot of time to do it, and I don’t have that right now.
  • While I am redecorating my office, I could use a new office chair. The one that I have had for around 8 years now is beginning to fall apart.
  • And I still want those French door installed between my office and the living room. I suppose I’ll get around to that someday.
  • The siding of the house above my office windows could use a power wash. That means getting hold of a power wash machine, and getting the ladder out from behind the shed, etc. etc.
  • I went through my first ink cartridge for my new fountain pen in just under a month. It’s been suggested that I should use bottled ink instead, which means I need to order the ink, and then figure out how to get it into the pen. I also need to watch a video on how to properly clean the pen. I think that one will be on my to-do list for a while.
  • The ants are back in the kitchen so the next time I am at the grocery store, I need to get some more ant traps.
  • I have a dozen or so post ideas that need to be written up at some point. A few of these require considerable thought and planning. I fear that the more work they require, the longer it will be before I get to them.
  • I need to order a new trash can from the county as ours is damaged and keeps filling up with water.
  • The fireplace needs to be cleaned out. I’ve been meaning to do that for the last month. I look at it every morning and tell myself that I’ll get to it today. Well, I figure I’ll get to it today.

I just made the mistake of glancing at the to-do list for work. That list is even longer and I was hoping to use this weekend to catch up on some of ti, but I suppose it will depend on how I feel tomorrow.

Wouldn’t it be nice to just chuck the list and start from scratch? I think that is exactly what I am going to do. In fact, I just wrote the following to-do item at the bottom of my to-do list:

“Declare To-Do bankruptcy.”

I’ll get to that item just as soon as I get to the hundred or so items that come before it on the list.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

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