Maxie does it every time… She writes exactly what I need to hear! This week is no exception. As huge as I am into to-do lists and more so that satisfying feeling of crossing something off my list, I have definitely let things slide. I respond to every single email but for some reason can’t remember to respond to texts! I’m the worst! Definitely will be going through my texts today to respond to ones I forgot about.
The To-Do List You Haven’t Made
Guest post by Maxie McCoy
Who doesn’t love a good to-do list. You probably live off of your lists. From Moleskine to Evernote to good ole post-its attached to the screen of your computer, there’s always another item to cross off.
But what about the things that never made it to your list? Aka, the things you forgot about. The ones you pushed off doing because you didn’t have time then, you didn’t want to spend that money, or you completely blanked and then felt like it was untimely.
These are the things that bring you guilt anytime you see that person or think about that thing you forgot. They’re the things you should have done. They’re the crumbs you left and never took care of, as one commencement speaker might put it.
It’s the to-do list you haven’t made. It’s the Things I Forgot to Write on My To-Do List to-do list. It’s the maybe three, maybe 10 things that somehow fell from your usual list. But it’s the ones that sit in the back of your head causing you guilt and sucking your energy. Want to know what you should do with those things? Do them. Even if it’s a year later. Or a month late. Or extra money spent, sweep up your crumbs. Wipe away your guilt. And do them.
I made this list a few weeks ago. I took inventory of all the things that my “excuses” had led me to get away with not doing… The review I promised a reader I would look at. That present I never bought but felt guilty about not sending even though I wasn’t at the party. The text message I read and never responded to. It was a list of things I’d forgotten to add to my to-do list and felt bad about it. Still.
Here’s some common buckets to think about before making your list:
There’s no better way to show gratitude than a thank you note. But life gets crazy. Mailboxes are hard to come by. And suddenly the note you wrote and never sent is getting crumpled in your bag. Or the note you should have written is burning a guilty hole in your head. If there’s someone you should have sent a thank you card to, send it. Now. Even if it’s months late.
Emails and Texts You Ignored (accidentally)
Everyone does this. You read a text or email while you’re doing something else. You completely forget about it for like weeks. And then you remember when you think about that person but don’t do anything about it because it’s already been so long. No matter how long it’s been, write them back. Quickly scan your texts and emails and see who’s still waiting for a response. Add it to the list.
You Said You Would
Maybe you told a friend you’d totally help her brainstorm her new blog idea. Or you told your little brother you’d watch that movie with him. But the time never came up. Both of you “forgot” but you still feel guilty that you never followed through. Add it to the list.
Owed or Unpaid
It was just five bucks. But you remember it. It’s the notice you got from your doctor’s appointment, but haven’t dealt with yet. If money is outstanding to anyone or anything, pay it now. Even if it’s been a bit and you’ll get around to it, add it to the top of your list and take the four minutes to get these on your forgotten list and off again.
Borrowed and Not Returned
Maybe it’s a book you said you’d get back to them. Or a sweatshirt you both forgot you had. Or a pen. What did you say you’d give back and never did because it never came up? Give it back. Return it now. The fact you remember that you forgot is all the intention you need to add it to your list.
Everyone forgets to do things. And sometimes a list of things you forgot to add to your to-do list is all the fire you need to get them done.