This one is for my friend Lisa Dickerson

Fork in My Eye

Much Ado About To-Do Lists

For decades now, I’ve been chasing my own personal Holy Grail: the ultimate time-and-stress-management-tool, a perfectly constructed and prioritized To-do list. I was convinced that if I could just learn to create beautifully balanced lists, carefully weighing each factor, considering all the possible ramifications of each decision, I would find that optimal formula that would make my life magically manageable. It was a beautiful dream, but I’ve come to realize I’ve been chasing rainbows all these years. The To-do list at its best is an illusion, a will-o-the-wisp, an exercise in serious crazy-making. And this is why:

  1. To-do lists are not warm and fuzzy. Getting to cross something off the list is pretty much all the reward you’re going to get for completing a task no matter how onerous. You’re not going to get a hug or a pat on the back or even a…

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