The first step in using a todo-list is to know what a todo-list is. Todo-lists were invented early on in the industrial revolution by a one, Dr. Gerald A. Todo. Dr. Todo had been looking for a way to keep track of everything he needed to take care of. Historians say that the rising number of patients he was seeing due to the newness of factory technologies was the catalyst for this.
Dr. Todo speculated that keeping track of actions he needed to take would help him prioritize his work and take care of his many and varied tasks. So Dr. Todo coined the name todo-list. He began to write every single action he needed to take in a neat organized and prioritized list. Even his meals, which was the fatal flaw in the very first todo-list system.
Dr. Todo was so committed to his newly found organization that he forgot to place eating at a higher priority than writing his memoir Dr. Todo – The Organized Man!. He died of starvation. In the wake of his death not only did he give rise to a new industry that would become known as the Self Help Industry but he set the tone for many know-it-alls to take a stab at taming the complexity of life by making life more complex with a todo-list. Dr. Todo also left behind a mystery. His middle name is lost, though most historians and theologians agree that the A. in Dr. Gerald A. Todo stood, for Arse1.
How To Know if You Need A Todo-list
Having a todo-list is an easy matter but a hard reality. Most people resist having a todo-list out of a sense of self-preservation and instinctual survival. However, if you are determined to plunge forward into your anxiety-ridden existential crises I have condensed down the factors you need to consider when choosing to allow a todo-list to rule your very existence.
- Do you use the phrase “keeping the plates spinning” often?
- Do calendars excite you? Ahem… you know excite you?
- Do you have a need to be organized?
- Have you ever considered a career in project management?
- Do you find your self reading self-help books?
- Do you enjoy a false sense of accomplishment?
- Are you hoping to get some sort of bragging rights?
- Do you enjoy spending more time organizing and scheduling than actually doing things?
- Do you have a heart condition?
- Do you like to indulge in a feeling of impending doom?
- Do you feel overwhelmed by the complexity of life? If no would you like to feel that way?
You might be interested to find that experts have determined the answers to these questions are irrelevant. The fact you are asking them is all that matters. Though answering number 11 honestly is very important and you should put a task on your todo-list to think about it.
How To Use Your New Mental Illness – The Todo-list
Really? Is there a heading for this sort of thing. Listen it is a todo-list, not rocket science or quantum physics. Write some tasks on it. Do those tasks. Continue your descent into madness2.
What To Do3 Now That Your Todo-list is Out of Control and Ruining Your Life.
Now that you have been using your todo-list for several months you may have noticed that there are just too many bull spit tasks on the recently minted todo-list. You are probably looking for some help taming it.
The first thing to remember before you begin to tame your todo-list is that it does not love you. Todo-lists are one of the rare bread of organizational tools that hold what is called a “heart of darkness4.” Do not fear the heart of darkness but respect it.
The second thing to do is to place a task on your todo-list to organize your todo-list. This begins an organizational resonance cascade. Given enough time to grow, this cascade will result in you wadding your todo-list up and throwing it in the trash can, followed closely by a reasonable amount of gasoline and a lit match. At this point, you can consider your todo-list tamed. You can go back to enjoying your blissful ignorance as your world collapses around you due to your inaction and procrastination.
- Sometimes referred to as the Awdua or Arse Who Doomed Us All.↩
- Seriously you are reading the footnote? Are you hoping there is more to it than that?↩
- The heart of darkness, as far as organizational tools go, is an underlying system of chaos that underpins the function of the organizational tool. Generally, hearts of darkness go unnoticed until fools decides to get their life in order. The very act of organizing their life into a system possessing a heart of darkness plunges their life into chaos. This is done by showing in plain lists with an attractive font just how badly you have screwed up your life until this point.↩