60 Questions – Answer No.6
Does your to-do list calm you down or does it stress you?
More than two and a half million hits for the search term „to-do-list.“
Humanity obviously has a lot to do.
A to-do list is just a tool like a hammer or a ladder.
Does your hammer stress you, or does it calm you down?
And how about your ladder?
If a therapist asked these questions, I would feel a bit embarrassed.
On the other hand: My hammer does not judge me. It does not look disappointed at me because I just used 15 of the 20 nails in the small box.
I am not so sure about the ladder. I suspect it is a job ladder and dreams about having just five more steps. That is what they are after, isn’t it?
My to-do list looked at me a bit reproachful all week. Especially the topic „Write answer 6“. I think it is personally annoyed by now. These to-dos have an ego. All of them believe to be the most important one and try to get to the list’s pole position.
One needs to be careful that they don’t figure it out among themselves. This would only mean that always the loudest and most annoying is top of the list.
When this happens, my list goes on my nerves. All this yelling – just terrible! Yelling back does not work. I tried it. It only gets worse this way. In such cases, I need to remain calm and act thoughtfully and with purpose. Then I sort the topics according to my rules.
By now, the relationship between me and my to-do-lists (Yes, plural!) is OK most of the time. They know that I never get everything done that is written on them. And I know that I need to take care, that the lists don’t act as if they are Big Boss. We get along.
If you suffer from difficulties falling asleep, you should write a to-do list shortly before going to bed. A study from Baylor University showed in 2018 that this could make falling asleep easier. They concluded: To facilitate falling asleep, individuals may derive benefit from writing a very specific to-do list for 5 min at bedtime rather than journaling about completed activities. Participants fell asleep 9 minutes faster when they wrote a to-do list. The more detailed the list was, the sleepier they became.
The brain was probably already exhausted by just imagining all the stuff the participants wanted to do the next day. I am just not sure how to motivate my brain the following day if it believes it has already done the stuff. On the other hand, the alarm can sound 9 minutes earlier. Then I can at least do one more thing from my list. Great! I am even more productive!
… and what happens if great things are on my list? I believe I’d get more excited for all the anticipation. – Oh my, science! Once you have found one answer, you end up with more questions than before….
And now I finally tick off this one thing from my list.