Wednesday, March 6, 2013

From "To-Do" to "Ta-DA"

Who says Facebook is a useless, mind-numbing time-waster?  Okay…maybe any really useful information gleaned from Facebook can be filed under the heading of “Even a Blind Pig Finds an Acorn Now and Then…”
But of course, if I hadn’t discovered a really useful little tidbit, I wouldn’t be writing this, would I?  And what is that tidbit, you ask (you DO ask, don’t you?)  Well, here it is:
Anyone who reads here with any regularity will remember that my entrepreneurial experience left me with a dire aversion to “To-Do” lists.  For five years, I was hobbled by a chain of “needed this yesterdays” as long and as heavy as any strong coil dragged around by Marley’s ghost.  So once free of the café, I declared my independence from to-do lists for the rest of…forever. 
What’s so bad about a to-do list?  After all, it’s just like a shopping list, isn’t it?  You write down the things you need so you don’t forget.  Cross them off when they’re done.  What’s so onerous about that?
Does anybody really believe this?  That a to-do list is merely an innocent visual reminder of things one might otherwise forget to do?  Hah!  Not so!  A to-do list is designed as an insidious finger-pointing device; with that insidious NEON finger pointing directly to an array of gnarly character flaws we all seek to keep well hidden, particularly from ourselves.  Sloth.  Disorganization.  Inability to prioritize.  Inability to give a damn.  Inability to complete a task.
Fear.  Failure. 
At the very least, a to-do list is the first billboard on that Highway to Hell:  The Guilt Trip.
So, when a friend posted on Facebook:

Monday via mobile .
Another day, another to do list unchecked.

I had to comment that I had given up to-do lists for Lent.  And every other week of the year.

And that, I thought, was that.  Clever, succinct and heart-felt.

But then another friend of my friend posted this comment:

o    Carrie Kemerer Harrington @ Lisa, how about starting a ta-DA list instead? It is a list of all the stuff you actually got done. Making that really helps you see how much you really do get done instead of making you feel bad about what you didn't do.

How simplistic, I scoffed.  How kindergarten!  How “Chicken Soup for the Soul!”
How…great of an idea is this?  Really?
What a simple way to morph the list from a cat-o-nine-tails into a pat on the back?  A “Look what I DID!” instead of a “Look what I COULDN’T do…”  One big smiley face with no other competing emoticons hanging around in the margins.
So today, I started my first “Ta-DA” list.  So far, it has only two things on it.  But that’s two more things than it had on it when I got up this morning.
And as soon as I post this, I’m going to add “wrote about ta-da list.”  Because I think this definitely qualifies.


  1. YAY! Some days I just have to do the "Ta-Da" list in my head so I remember that I do actually accomplish some things!

  2. You allowed me to start my day with a smile! Thank you!!