The To Do List

Three of the jobs on my To Do List were quick and easy to do. All they required was a phone call. For some reason, I kept putting them off. Until this morning.

These were easy-to-knock-off jobs, yet I procrastinated. The sense of relief that I felt when I did complete them was remarkable.

I'm pretty good at checking things off my To Do List. In fact, I love making lists. I get a huge sense of satisfaction from putting that little check mark beside the item as it is accomplished.

I feel good and as a result, a positive physiological change takes place - my heart rhythms become smoother as I develop greater heart rate variability. This is great for my emotional, mental and physical health.

How many things do you neglect doing, even though they may only take a few moments to complete? Perhaps you're a procrastinating perfectionist, waiting for that moment that says you can do the job perfectly and until then, there's no point in beginning?

You may be surprised to learn that when you procrastinate and beat yourself up about it, you are eliciting the stress response. The accompanying negative thoughts and emotions hang over your head and weigh heavily in your heart, releasing a cascade of 1400 stress hormones. If it happens often enough, over time, the stress resets the nervous system.

How's that To Do List of yours? Are you ready to learn some techniques to help you accomplish the things you need to do?

My friend and I still get a laugh from a list of mine that she found tucked into a book I returned to her. It read:

  • Make hair appt.
  • Call Jenn
  • Finish marking
  • Car
  • Get up

"Get up"? LOL!

5 Replies to “The To Do List”

  1. The task I procrastinate the most about is making phone calls. I don’t know why – maybe because it means I’ll have to squeeze in another appointment in my already tight schedule, or another few items on my To Do List. Whatever, the relief I feel when I actually have made that call is amazing! Thanks for the great post!

  2. Marianna, I suffer from a different problem! Finding things to do other than the routine work which does not take much brain work! I envy you for having things to do out of the routine!

  3. Bronnie,
    I was just thinking about why some phone calls are so daunting. Certain places, like internet service providers, telephone companies and charge card companies require fortitude and PATIENCE. The “Press 7 for ___, then press 3, if you wish___, …” is a menu maze that one has to be prepared for.

    That’s what I getting ready for now.

    Thank you. Interesting that you should mention this now. For seven mornings I substitute taught in a Literacy ESL class. I had a regular time and a regular place to go. I was thinking how different that is from my irregular schedule, where rarely two days are the same. I quite like the variety.

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