To-Don’t Lists, when to-do keeps not getting to-done

Here we are again. Staring at a blank blank blog. I told myself to write a blog post. It’s on my to-do list and it gets pushed back at least a few days every week. It’s almost part of my brand new to-don’t list.

What is a To-Don’t list?

I decided that when faced with an item that I just don’t want to do; I should be employing a list of don’ts.

On that list go the boring, crappy, innovation sucking, non-playful garbage that I just can’t bring myself to do. So I’m going to to-don’t it. By separating them, I hope to make it clear to my wonderful heart- that I can’t get by on playtime alone. When I am feeling cramped by all of the analytical to-don’t list items, I can retreat to the to-do list in all of it’s magical glory. I can even live mostly in the to-do list and just play until I get tired of that and actually need some pure and simple brain time.

Here are some of things to remember if you want to test it out like I am:

To-don’t doesn’t mean you can’t do it

Just like my ability to ignore items on my to-do list, I can thumb my nose at my own attempt to control myself and do whatever I want. If my fun to-do list items just aren’t cutting it there is always vacuuming or laundry. Laundry is never ending. Laundry ebbs and flows like the tides and is a constant that no one can avoid. It’s also a great activity to make you want to think about something more entertaining.

Inspiration can’t be forced, but it can be trapped

Setting a trap for inspiration can be as simple as doing something that doesn’t force it. How many people have had epiphanies in the shower? How many curious thoughts come to you when sitting on the toilet? If you have to sit through a meeting, clear your email inbox, or de-dog-poop your front lawn, it could be the perfect opportunity for inspiration to get close enough to spring that trap of memory upon it. Who knows what it will bring you if it thinks you aren’t looking?

Repetition and Familiarity breed “to-don’t” material

Even those things that you love doing can become chores if you do them often enough. Especially if they are for someone else, don’t speak to your truth, or are simply a way to make money. Varying up your schedule can make the time with your to-do list items special.

Vacations aren’t vacations without something to vacate

If you make them fun, to-don’t items can be a refreshing change from your to-dos. Or, the vacation can be your to-dos and everyday be to-dont’s. It really doesn’t matter what direction that you take it, like most things in life opposite items reside on cardinal points of a circle.

Taking care of your health, finances, education, and general betterment by being an adult and doing adulty things build the foundation and structure of your life as a home. All adventures need a home to return to, a setting off point. Going skydiving, spending a whole day reading, visiting museums, going on a flea market hunt, they all need a place to start from, read in, return to, and decorate.

Without the shire, does a hobbit have any reason to encounter dragons, or destroy rings? You need a world to save to embark on any world-saving journey.

Self care includes building stability

When people talk about self care they often mention taking a nap, watching a favorite movie, eating a beloved comfort food. Often that helps fight off anxiety, depression, and other emotions the human heart can get bogged down by. However, sometimes anxiety and depression can be met with small productive steps that can ease them both. Some examples are- taking a shower and dressing nicely is something that makes you feel like you can start the day right. Going to the gym, while scary, can single a first step in getting your health in order. Working toward a goal can ease the fear of never reaching it. Steps in the right direction, followed by seeing the goal a little closer, are reassuring.

Pride and resilience can be found in forward motion sometimes. So starting a to-don’t can be as much self-care as healing in secret.

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