Managing Your To-Don't List

Ever had too many things to do? A full list of errands, responsibilities and tasks, accompanied by a feeling, or thought, of “I’ve got to do this!”. The other day I went to Costa’s my favourite watering hole in Newcastle to pass the time while my car was being serviced. I ordered a large cappuchino and sat writing out my to-do list for the day. It seemed to grow like Pinocchio’s nose, items just kept being added, and the thought “I’ve got to do this” started rattling around in my mind.

I don’t know how this works for you, but if I get the idea that I have to do something or other, my energy and enthusiasm drop and my resistance level to the task goes up.

So as an experiment I looked at my to-do list and said (sotto voce) “I’ve got to do this” and came up with an intensity of 7 out of 10. Then I tried out the phrase “I don’t want to do this” and got a score of 8 out of 10! So as I try to do something, a part of me that doesn’t want to do it pushes back. This may explain in part my reluctance to get some things done, and why my in tray is always overflowing and my to-do list is a to-don’t list.

So I did a couple of round of tapping on “I’ve got to do this”, and then on “I don’t want to do this”, both took about 4 rounds of tapping to come down to 0. You may be wondering how I managed to do several rounds of tapping in Costa’s Coffee shop without been thrown out, or even noticed, I’ll tell you how in another article.

When I finished tapping, I looked at my list. I could still see the tasks, but rather than the effort involved in doing them, the value of doing them, what I’ll gain from their completion came to the fore. They now seemed like worthwhile steps on the way to something I want instead of obstacles in my way.

All well and good, but you may be wondering ‘What happened after that?’ As it happens, I got down to business and completed all the tasks quickly and easily, except for one, which I had to do some more tapping on!

So if you have a to-don’t list of your own you might like to tap on it a little and see what happens

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