The Damned To-Do List

Can this list help my creativity?

Can this list help my creativity?

I wonder...can the evil to-do list help me be more creative?

Housecleaning, laundry, dishes, take the trash out, repeat. Chores can become endless mind numbing items I have to do everyday. Can they really be useful in any other regard besides items that just have to be done? Adding chores to the endless to-do list creates clutter in my brain and pushes my creativity out the door. Why? Repetitive tasks mean the to-do list will NEVER end. Never.

It’s funny what happens when I’m in the zone. You know the zone. It’s the one you get in when you really have a lot of other more important things (chores) to do yet you don’t do them at all and focus on the more enjoyable things you’re engrossed with. 

I thought the zone could only occur during enjoyable tasks but the zone can happen at anytime. This is where the to-do list comes into play. (If you are haunted by the to-do list, like me, see my post on meditation as a way to beat it into submission.)

When I am blocked there is just about nothing that is going to fix my problem. All my old tricks seems to be plain and painful to implement. Now this next bit of information is going to be a hard sell but just hear me out for a moment. Tackle the to-do list. 

What? Traitor you say. You hate the to-do list. 

Yes. I do hate it. It’s evil and taunting. 

But life needs to get done at some point. This is probably more difficult a challenge to those of us currently working from home because we see the non-fruits of our labor staring us in the face when we ignore the list. And it can keep us from the important job of being creative and living a fulfilling life doing things we enjoy because we are constantly doing the to-do list which we don’t enjoy. 

We are suppose to not let the to do list control our lives or take away our creativity. So what can checking off items really do for me?

  • I can get a quick sense of accomplishment. When creative endeavors aren’t leading me anywhere I can get sad because this feeling of having achieved something is lost. Getting a quick chore done gives this back and then I can get back to creative work refreshed. 
  • I get moving. Repetitious activities take our minds into a different state and direction which allows the unconscious part of our brains to chew on problems. How many of us have had a eureka moment in the shower because the sound of the water spray puts us into an unawareness zone. 
  • I get a much needed break. It can be difficult to pause and take the time to put something important aside because it feels like I’m are wasting time. A short or long break rejuvenates. Even when performing physical exercise we need to rest our bodies in order to become stronger and have greater stamina.  

When I juggle the to-do list I usually get knocked in the head a lot but after finding a balance I find confidence to get back to my creative work. The dreadful to-do list never ends and therefore I know I will always have a way back to being creative.

Is it possible for you to find this balance?