At the rise of Quaker worship one week, I asked if anyone present didn’t keep a to-do list. I mean, these are all busy people, nearly three dozen of them … and that was on a slow day.

I was shocked when a half-dozen hands were raised. I still want to know how they do what they need to do, daily and on a larger horizon.

How about you? Do you keep those lists โ€“ and, if so, how do you arrange yours?

Or if you don’t, how do you keep yourself on task? Especially the big picture items, rather than what some call “putting out fires as they pop up.”

I’m all ears. My lists never seem to dovetail, and it’s still driving me nuts.


  1. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am listless! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Which doesn’t mean I have no idea or structure or deadlines or priorities – or even much to do at all. Just that I have dropped “goals” and “objectives” and “lists” because they got in the way of living. I have a diary because I forget things. But just the things I don’t want to forget – or double-book – or negotiate with myself as to which “to do” is more important.

    “My lists never seem to dovetail, and itโ€™s still driving me nuts.”

    I see a plural! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Never used a to do list. There’s too much life to have room for them. My life goal is to leave this world a little better than I found it. I don’t need a list to achieve that.

  3. I need the lists because otherwise the items on the list just become obsessive thoughts chasing one another around my head. “I must remember to…” “I should make time for…” “When will ever manage to…”

    The list allows me to have some space to think!

    For managing competing priorities, though, I find it takes more than a list… for that I had to put together a Rule of life (like a monastic rule, with time portioned for different tasks).

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