In last Thursday’s post, I wrote that I miss my paper to-do list, in part because I knew at a glance which items were older.
The truth is, I still know at a glance if an item is new or old… although now I have to scroll down to see all the items on my iPhone list.
Sometimes I end up inputting the same item a second time, or literally moving it closer to the top of the list, so that it won’t fall through the cracks.
Recently I deleted a couple of longstanding home-related items on the list. They weren’t “major” tasks in terms of difficulty or how they would affect my life, but removing them from the list felt like a significant accomplishment.
Probably the most symbolic one for me was finding a new front door mat to replace the ratty old one. In addition to all the work-related things I wanted – and still want – to accomplish, I needed to tend to things in the house. I thought I would start at the front door, and work my way in.
The new mat didn’t make it to the top of the list for a long time, and it was nagging at me. I felt I hadn’t properly “started” to work my way through the house.
Now, when I think about my new front door mat, it reminds me that:
1. Sometimes things loom large psychologically, but don’t really take a huge amount of effort.
2. The payoff can be disproportionately large, compared to the amount of work involved.
3. Starting at the beginning – taking one step – makes it easier to get to the next step.
4. Little things can make a difference.
5. Sometimes, little things turn out to be big things.
Yesterday I set the timer on my phone for fifteen minutes, and worked on the book that I’ve been neglecting for the past couple of weeks. Just a little effort, and I feel like I’m back on track.