20 Things Anyone Obsessed With ‘To-Do’ Lists Will Understand

I am an avid ‘to-do lister’. In fact, I often wonder whether I could successfully get through the day without writing down everything I need to do. I know some people would hate this idea because we’re supposed to be ‘spontaneous’ and ‘live in the moment’ – which is all very well and good but on a working day, without my lists, I wouldn’t know which way was up. I know for a fact that there are fellow ‘to-do listers’ out there in the big wide world of the internet so I composed a list of things that I’m sure you’ll all understand.

todolister

1. Writing something on your list that you’ve already done just so you can immediately cross something off
2. Adding the simplest tasks such as, ‘brush teeth‘ so again, you’re guaranteed to cross at least 1 thing off that day
3. Writing your to-do list in your best handwriting and decorating around the edges and considering it progress
4. Doing all the easy tasks on your to-do list first so you feel totes productive
5. Then procrastinating like crap when it comes to doing all the long-assed jobs at the end
6. Knowing that if you don’t write a to-do list you will 100% end up watching Netflix all day
7. Adding something fun on your to-do list so you know there’s at least 1 thing to stop you dying of boredom
8. Writing to-do lists within to-do lists and going all ‘Inception‘ on your own ass
9. Writing your to-do list for the following day then crying into your wine when you see the length of it
10. The phrases, “I don’t know what I’m doing” and “I’ll play it by ear” just don’t make sense to you. You always know what you’re doing…  It’s written down…
11. Including “make a to-do list for tomorrow” on today’s to-do list is crucial for… Well… Your mental wellbeing
12. And if by some miracle of miracles you forget about a to-do list, you freak the fuck out
13. Lists make your world go round. Where I want to travel? List. Potential baby names? List. Books I want to read? List.
14. No matter how many supposedly “productive” apps you download for making lists, nothing will beat the satisfaction of crossing things through with an actual pen
15. Having a suspiciously short to-do list and panicking about everything you’ve probably forgot to add to it
16. Going on holiday? No problem, I wrote down everything we need to take like, before it was even booked
17. Notebooks. Notebooks everywhere!
18. It’s not all about spontaneity. Being organised can be fun. All hail Monica Geller.
19. Finishing a to-do list early in the day and wondering whether everything you did, you did wrong
20. Celebrating finishing a particularly long and boring to-do list by writing another list

Are you a ‘to-do lister’ like me? Or do you go about your daily tasks with an element of spontaneity? Do you have anything else to add to this list? Let me know!

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76 thoughts on “20 Things Anyone Obsessed With ‘To-Do’ Lists Will Understand

  1. Haha, this is so true! My entire day is structured around my to-do list. And if I do something not on the list, well, that doesn’t feel right either! Loved this post!

  2. this made me laugh .. i have a ‘special’ book with 365 pages in it. i also have a notebook similar to the described in The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurin that i’m always scribbling in. I also used to list everything I owned ‘just for reference’ you understand.

    Great post and fabulous blog x

  3. I’m not a to-do lister, but I probably should be. I write myself little notes to remember appointments and things like that, but a list would probably be better, seen as I do have a habit of both forgetting things I have to do and procrastinating over things I really don’t want to do.

  4. To do lists really help me with my writing! I break down my word count into manageable chunks of 500 words Eg. 1) Have breakfast 2) 500 words… 3) 500 words…. I definitely add stuff I’ve already done for the pleasure of crossing it off and as for ‘brushing your teeth’, I think it absolutely has a legitimate place on a to do list… as does 4) ‘cross off things you’ve done… okay, that last one is a bit naughty, but it’s MY to do list!

    • That is a really good idea! Some days I’ve been totally crazy and actually planned my whole day around times. E.g 7 o’clock: Get up, 7.15: Have breakfast. I don’t do that anymore (thankfully) but doing words inbetween other tasks is a really great idea – considering I’m working on a MS that’d really help! Thanks for the tip!

  5. I am not a full-on to-do lister, but I do feel more productive when I use one. For me it’s definitely a thing that comes and goes. Certain weeks I’ll be listing everything ever on there, other weeks I won’t be feeling my to do lists (and wind up getting little to nothing done).
    I even have times when at the end of the day that I’ll tally how many items on my list i completed, just to see if I was as productive/lazy as I felt. PS: it definitely helps to write down super simple tasks for this one as it gets your count up (especially on those days where you just couldn’t find the motivation)

    • I totally get that. I’ve been like that in the past too – really productive one week and really not the next. That is a REALLY good idea – making a list at the end of the day of things you’ve got done. I bet you feel a real sense of achievement when that list is long?

      • For sure! When you had a list of twenty things and you completed 18 things, it feels real nice. On the other hand it can also be really motivating if you only managed to do about 5 things on that same list. It can really make you want to push yourself the next day, especially if new things will be added to the list the next day as well as the unfinished tasks. But sometimes that motivation proves to be lacking and I will get little done a couple of days in a row. Some days I just can’t seem to push myself to work (I wish I could though!), and that’s why I would probably never do well working for myself. Because there will always be some tasks that I don’t love doing just as there will always be days that I don’t feel like working. So I’m pretty sure that working independantly (especially from home) is not really something for me.

      • I use a Moleskine for mine, but I do know some stationary stores here in Holland have to-do list books, so I’m sure they have them in the UK! Otherwise, I know there is an easy store for Hema, a Dutch store, you could try to find one there too!

  6. This is my favourite blog post of the year!! I couldn’t stop giggling because it sounded so much like me :). I can relate to and agree with every single point on your list. My family thinks I’m crazy, but now I know I’m not the only one. I mean seriously, I thought I was the only one who didi #1. Yayyyy for listers!!!!

  7. Oh goodness. I completely get this. I never ever ever ever close my Wunderlist, and have about three notebooks on hand, and a tablet for “lists”. I even highlight mine…. I’m glad I’m not the only one. For real though on the pen and getting to cross it off. That’s the best part!

  8. Oh gosh I am a chronic to do lister! To the point where I created my own weekly planner which I print off I, monthly increments that include school lists, blog lists, goals and weekly and daily to do lists that I do every day. I can literally relate to ever single one of these quotes. All of them. Especially the Netflix one and the “writing down a task” you’ve already completed”. Oh dear me I love this post so much! xoxo

  9. I’m glad I’m not the only one who does all of this my mother doesn’t understand why I can’t start my day without planning it first.

  10. this is basically my life lol but instead of notebooks I have post-it notes everywhere. I go through several post it notes a day just for making to do lists..

  11. Legitimately my life right here. I plan days in advance, and yes it’s overwhelming when I see my list for the next day. I should probably stop that. I’m trying out the bullet journal system, so we’ll see!

    Also, I’m totally guilty of writing every thing down, and then ignoring it and watching Netflix all day anyways. Terrible tv shows for the win!
    Love it!
    x

  12. Haha, this was awesome! I’ve got a special notebook for my to-do-lists and yes, all the simplest things are on there, so at least it looks like I did something productive. I also like to add what I need to post on social media, so that I don’t even have to think about that anymore in the morning ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. I don’t make a to-do list for every day, but I do make to-do lists for periods of time, and I also have separate lists for movies and series I still need to watch. My books to read are an online list, but I definitely do prefer that satisfaction of writing things down and crossing it off by hand. I am also very guilty of adding things I’ve already done just to be able to cross it off, and of doing the easy things first so I look like I’ve been doing stuff. I don’t NEED the lists, but… they make life more fun. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  15. I have a friend who uses “special” colored notecards for her lists. She also tears it up and starts over if it looks messy or it’s not in the order she wants.
    I like making lists on real paper also, and decorating it up is the best way of procrastinating on starting the list!

  16. Fabulous! 100% accurate! I actually write lists of the lists I want to write. I rewrite lists to procrastinate doing what’s on the list. When I started struggling with anxiety and feeling out of control, I discovered that if I just dumped everything in my head onto a list I felt so much better – even if that list was huge! Lists are lifesavers.

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