Depression, Self-Improvement

The Infinite To-Do List

It’s burying me.

I’m a list person.

I have a shopping list for Target, a shopping list for groceries, a shopping list for other miscellaneous items needed, a to-do list for the house, a to-do list for work, a to-do list for chores. It’s never-ending. The lists are never truly completed because before the items are all scratched off, more items amass or are re-added.

As someone who battles depression, there are days where even the smallest task feels daunting. A shower, followed by blow-drying my hair, can utterly drain me, physically and emotionally.

Oftentimes, my motivation depletes before little is accomplished.

It’s disheartening. By the time the day ends, I’m thinking, “Tomorrow is another day. I’ll be more focused. I’ll get more done.” Comforted by my bed and embraced by sleep, my lists await for another day.

One morning, after dragging myself out of my bed to go brush my teeth, I found a note near my sink from my husband. It read, “Celebrate your daily achievements and forgive yourself for goals not obtained.”

My heart ached, tears fell. This note of encouragement is what I needed.

An unfinished to-do list is frustrating and dispiriting. A to-do list is infinite. I require a finite list for my own mental health.

My Got-It-Done list was created.

As I tackled the day, I jotted down tasks fulfilled. Yes, I glanced at my other lists for guidance; but every time I wrote down a completed item, I felt accomplishment. Also, on days where a shower was a Herculean task, I wrote it down, too (spoonies will understand).

It’s never all done.

If I don’t accept that truth, I’ll always feel defeated.

Henceforth, when I feel buried beneath my infinite to-do lists, I dig my way out by documenting achievements on my got-it-done list. Chronicling my efforts lightens my burdens.

What works for you? How do you manage your incomplete to-do lists?


Copyright © 2018 Alicia T-Rust. All rights reserved.

2 thoughts on “The Infinite To-Do List

  1. “It’s never all done”……. My internal short hand is that if it is all done, i am dead. So, In order to accept “it is never all done” as true/truth, I choose the following perspective…I am alive and creative. The more i have to do/want to do the more proof that i am alive, well and moving forward. There is always more to do- i find that exciting. I also do not assume that it HAS to ALL be DONE. I make choices everyday as to what is reasonable to accomplish, and i celebrate what i do mange to make headway on (pls excuse grammar). This may sound like platitudes but it works for me, and I know it works for others as i have shared this perspective with many clients and it makes sense to them.

    1. Thank you for reading and responding! I love hearing what works for others. For me, I needed a change in mindset, of accomplishment. And, I fully agree that if it’s all done…I’m dead. : )

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