Saturday, June 11, 2005

I so often feel like I never get anything done, and that my to-do list(s) either maintain(s) its/their size or seem/s increasingly longer with each passing month and year. And the things on it/them seem to be getting more urgent, complicated, and important.

And yet, I have successfully completed a graduate degree and done all sorts of other things along the way, too. So why do I feel like I never get anything done? Even completion of big hairy tasks, like thesis defense, doesn’t leave a lingering feeling of accomplishment. Instead, I end up feeling something like, “Thank goodness that’s out of the way, because now I can get to all this other stuff it was keeping me from doing”.

I have decided that it’s similar to the phenomenon wherein we always find something in the last place we look, but it’s because then we stop looking. Similarly, this “nothing done” phenomenon exists because I have “to-do” lists, and I don’t have “have-done” lists. That is, once I complete a task, it falls off my radar entirely. Thus, I am always focused on what remains to be done, which will truly be endless until the day I die.

June 11 to-do item: begin keeping a “have-done” list.

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