The tasks we keep putting off

How many things on your (mental or physical) to-do list have you been putting off for a long time?

Be honest: there probably are a bunch of such things. They might include cleaning up the attic, visiting your relatives who live a few hours away, writing a book, or going to the dentist.

I usually have a dozen or so of such items. Things that I theoretically “want” to do, just not today. There are even a few that I’ve put off for more than a year!

For tasks like these—tasks we keep putting off—it’s fair to say that we feel that we “should” do them. But we don’t want to, not really.

Sometimes, putting tasks off has consequences that you’ll strongly dislike. For instance, I strongly recommend that you don’t put off dentist checkups for years.

But other tasks are just sitting there, occupying mental space. Or, worse, they might stress you out every time you realize that you still haven’t done these things.

If you theoretically “want to” write a book, but you never feel like it, then do you truly want to? You’ve been putting this off for years and you’ve done fine in the meantime. Why not scrap the to-do entirely?

I have a challenge for you today: Can you give yourself permission to not do one thing that you’ve been putting off?

Maybe pick the item that’s been on your to-do list the longest. Give yourself permission not to do it. Remove it from your list. And feel free to share how it feels.


— Peter

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