The things we DO that never make it to our to-do lists β€” R Voice

The things we DO that never make it to our to-do lists

Andrea Hayward
Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 943 admin

The title of my post is inspired by a tweet I spotted earlier today (and just in time for a mid-week self-care reminder) 😊

How often do we beat ourselves up for not ticking off every single task on our to-do lists? We're hard on ourselves even if our day has been largely productive. It might not happen daily, but I'm sure this has happened to each one of us at least once.

I want this post to serve as a reminder of all those hidden, invisible tasks we do throughout the day that never really make it to our to-do lists. They could be work-related or even part of our personal lives. They're not part of the list, but we do them anyway and they take up time and energy.

Here's what I want us all to do - In the comments below, share a few of these invisible, hidden tasks that you did today but never considered in your to-do list for the day. It could be anything - from "picking up groceries" and "being stuck in traffic", to "fighting off a cold" and "attending a hour-long meeting". Whatever it is, add it in the comments.

Most importantly, the next time you're being hard on yourself for not completing everything you had planned for the day, please pause and think about the number of invisible, hidden tasks that have taken up your time and energy on that day. I'm sure it'll help πŸ€—


  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 943 admin
  • Aysa MC
    Aysa MC Member Posts: 28 ✭✭✭

    Mmmm, haha, that's really good... Sometimes I feel I did nothing and other people who stays with me for a while says I CAN not stop: in other words,, that I don't stop doing thingns and just sit me for a moment...

    But I do want to take a sit for a moment many times, it is just that daily things go chained and... well...

    Something I have listed but I am mumbling to retire is the each and every time I have to walk my dog away. It's twice a day and it requires 30' each aprox. and it is not always when I can, but when (he) needs... although I know the aprox schedule (7am, 4 pm)... I don't know.

    Then I have listed RUN or BIKE or some thing like that I should respect 3 times a week... at 6 or 7 pm... But I dont know if I have to take it out.

    So, here the things tou are asking for.

    I DO NOT LIST the following:

    Buy some things at the drugstore

    Order or go by the groceries we need

    Order or buy bread

    Check how is my mother doing with the person who accompanies her (she needs to be accompanied at all times due to health and age).

    Check needings of that apartment.

    Cook. do laundrey, make shopping lists, manual budget, list of expenses and any other house keeping tasks................

    Talk to my son every time he is free to do it (yes, this can be short or long, and it happens spontaneously)

    Check things he needs (for school, clothes or even health issues). Check he takes the medicins he should. Check what he is doing in the computer in free times.

    Have lunch and dinner with son (not while working). Have lunch with mother 3 tmes a week aprox.

    Answer emails

    Prepare classes (the ordinary; the new ones I do list it because it takes much effort and time)

    Drive in Lima city

    Give classes

    Draw here and there form time to time...

    I better not continue... I got bored!!! 😩

  • Aysa MC
    Aysa MC Member Posts: 28 ✭✭✭

    Very funny that post "FIGHTING OFF A COLD"

    I just LOVED IT... 😍

  • Omololu FAGBADEBO
    Omololu FAGBADEBO Member Posts: 192 ✭✭✭
    edited June 24

    @Andrea Hayward , there are so many things I do daily that are not part of my to-do list. As a researcher, you have a planned agenda and schedule for the day but all of a sudden, you receive an email message that you are to attend to reviewers' comments. Or a request for an urgent meeting or participation in a talk. This happens to me often. And I have decided not to be hard on myself when I am unable to attend to all my to-do lists for the day. My consolation is that I have achieved certain goals even though not part of my planned schedule.

    One thing at a time😍

  • Isurika Sevwandi
    Isurika Sevwandi Member Posts: 120 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi Andrea, your post made me think for a bit longer at it certainly has a point in it; we often disregard the unlisted things we aspire to do/ get done however despite the never ending to-do lists or might-to-do lists we have in our mobile phones. Here is my list for the day:

    😊 Replying to emails (priority number 1 though it was never included in a to-do list, much intellectual capacity needed sometimes, consumes a lot of time)

    😁 Ordering dinner before the offer expires tonight

    πŸ˜ͺCalling the service center to fix the landline connection

    ☺️Scheduling meetings for the coming week and sending emails

    🀩 Visiting my niece in the evening

    😊Watching the stage drama at night in the open air theatre

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 283 ✭✭✭

    I love this thread @Andrea Hayward . I am currently fighting of Covid which is my task to tick off the to-do list. πŸ€’I was freaking out because the ceiling was coming down on me and I had no energy to do anything but lay in bed and watch movies. I called my friend about how I was going crazy with not doing anything. She told me very directly and assertively: Could you please just rest for Godβ€˜s sake for one time Vivien? Could you please just do me that favour? And I realised how much I get caught up in the circle of hustle culture. Fighting off a sickness is a full time endeavour. I don’t need to prove myself. Thank you so much for the reminder.

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 237 ✭✭✭

    Your post came at a time when I was mulling about making a to-do list including every teeny weeny mental/physical work I do at home or outside @Andrea Hayward . During the procrastination I realised I wouldnt first of all find time to write down everything and by pointing everything towards myself I would only add to my stress. I finally decided to not make a to-do list at home nor at workπŸ˜‚. Having the self-confidence in my workaholism is enough fodder to keep me going purposefully all day long without a to-do list, I decided!

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 943 admin

    Thanks for sharing this @Aysa MC. Sorry it took me some time to catch-up with the comments. It's been quite a hectic month πŸ˜₯

    I have something in common with you. I too find it very difficult to be still and not do anything. It's something I'm working on and trying to get better at. When I'm busy, I long for some free time to be sit down and relax. And then when I finally have that time, I feel uneasy and don't know what to do with myself and try to find some work to do. It's a vicious cycle 😣

    I really appreciate you writing down this list. Our personal lives and responsibilities take up so much time and energy every day and we always seem to overlook these. And then we feel like we haven't done enough in a day when in reality, we've given our best (and sometimes even more). After looking at this list, I'm picturing you as a superhero! 😎

    If you don't mind me asking, how did this exercise make you feel?

    P.S. I can totally relate to what you've said about carrying for a furry friend. It does take up a lot of time, even though we love fussing over them. Thank you for the reminder πŸ€—

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 943 admin

    @Omololu FAGBADEBO when I first posted this, I was only thinking about tasks and things we do throughout the day that aren't related to work. You've made such an important point here by talking about unplanned work and requests that could crop up any time and change your plan for that day. I also like your approach to dealing with this - Even though you might have not been able to stick to the plan, you did what was essential for that particular day. Thanks for sharing this perspective! :)

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 943 admin

    @Isurika Sevwandi You're so right! Reading and responding to emails is very time-consuming and can even be exhausting at times. It's not just about putting some sentences together and hitting send. There's so many things to consider - context, history with the person, tone, etc. Plus, we're often marked on emails that don't need any response or action from us. So reading those can often feel like a waste of time. But there's no way to know whether or not you need to respond, besides reading them in detail. Sigh πŸ˜…

    I love how many emotions you've managed to convey through your list. The one about ordering food is quite funny but I know how important it is to make offer deadlines πŸ˜ƒ

    I'm keen to hear more about the open air theatre you visited. Did you watch a play? Would love to see a picture of the theatre itself, if you have one. Sounds lovely!

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 943 admin

    Oh gosh! I'm so sorry it took me some time to reply to this @Vivien Kretz. I had no idea you were recovering from COVID. I really hope you're doing MUCH better now. So grateful to your friend for ensuring that you rest up and do nothing. All of us should have a friend like her ☺️

    Hustle culture affects all of us because it seems like the norm and what is expected of us. And often, we don't even realize how strong a hold it has on us. But I'm glad we're talking about these issues here. You surely don't need to prove yourself to anyone.

  • Isurika Sevwandi
    Isurika Sevwandi Member Posts: 120 ✭✭✭✭

    Hey @Andrea Hayward !

    Yup I could make it to the open-air theatre and can you imagine it was full of undergrads because a drama was staged after about 2 and a half years, I guess. Sadly I don't have a picture of that specific day's open-air theatre but here's a famous one from back in the day for you to get an idea. It's a completely different vibe and experience of one of a kind. while feeling the cooling breeze, watching the moon shining through dark clouds and mountains fading under darkness you witness a superb piece of stage drama with renowned local actors performing brilliantly after ages: you just forget the world for a second and immerse in artistry!

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 943 admin

    WOW @Isurika Sevwandi what a cool setting! I'm sure being out in the open and the weather changes really adds an extra layer of drama to the performances. You've articulated it so well! Thank you for digging up a picture for us 🀩

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 283 ✭✭✭

    Thank you @Andrea Hayward πŸ₯Ή. You surely don't need to prove yourself to anyone made me all teary.

  • Aysa MC
    Aysa MC Member Posts: 28 ✭✭✭

    This excercise made me feel like... Oh, yes, I have noticed, from time to time, I am not lazy, just multi tasked compulsorily. But then I also believe I have to do more, but I do not know when.