How My To-Do List is Often Like a Misbehaving Toddler (And What I Can Do About It!)

My to-do list is long. It taunts me.

As soon as I cross something off, three more things jump on.

The battle I have with my to-do list is like chasing a naked, hungry, willful toddler through the house. I yell and reach. I grab and contain. I wipe, dust, clothe, scold and hug and yet there are more things to do. My list is ever demanding, ever whining, ever messy. 

I asked for this.

I asked for the expanding boundaries and the places of influence. I asked for the blessings and abundance. (And it comes with more responsibility and more tasks?) I asked for more people in my life with whom I run the risk of disappointing. I asked for more opportunities with which I run the risk of missing. I asked for more challenges and I now stare at them,  convinced I won’t rise to meet them.

The one thing I must do today is look at these things, these tasks and these events and call them what they are.

They are symbols of my blessing.

They are connections to people. They are the pathways to my bigger dreams. And I am in control of all of them. They submit to me, not I to them. I will not let their tyranny, their demands nor their temper tantrums control me. 

How should I face my to-do list?

I will tackle each task with grace. I will be calm and discipline in doing them. I will not fear failure. I will anticipate success. I will inhale this truth — that few of these are life and death issues. I will exhale power and confidence. There is no deadline I have written down that owns me. My failure will never materialize if I handle these tasks in my best. And if the worst should happen, if I fail, if I disappoint, if I crumble, my identity is not wrapped up in this list. 

I am more than this. 

These tasks are what I do.

They are not what I am. 

I will do my best today. I will hold my head up high, grap this to-do list by it’s hand and say, “I’m the boss of you. Now let’s get busy.” 

And watch it behave as it dutifully complies. 


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I love January. It’s so full of hope and promise. This year, I tell myself, will be the year that I hit all those goals, that I become a better person, that I change for the better.

You can do it too! I believe in you! 

About Katharine Grubb

Katharine Grubb has mastered the art of freewriting because she wrote her first novel in 10 minute increments. There are probably easier ways to write a book, but with homeschooling her five children, she’ll take what she can get. Her latest book, Write A Novel In 10 Minutes A Day was just released and is available on Amazon.com She lives in Massachusetts and blogs at www.10minutenovelists.com.

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