A tribute to to-do lists

I have a confession.

I am enamored with to-do lists. They light up my life…in a practical, task-oriented sort of way.

Quite frankly, at the age of 25, I truly believe the resplendent magic of to-do lists is simply unparalleled. I say this as I listen to Harry Potter Music & Ambiance on YouTube, the remarkable Hogwarts castle, shrouded in rain clouds at dusk, there to greet me every time I stray from the task at hand. Childhood magic, protected in the immortal pages of fictional tales and revived through dreamy overtures on YouTube, is everlasting. However, now that I am completely in the throes of adulthood, practical magic is all the more miraculous, completely overturning my life for the better.

To-do lists are the spellbinding sergeants that keep me disciplined, on task, and during my more impressive moments, ahead of the game (the game being life, not people; we’re all in this together!)

During high school I use to make fun of my ever-diligent Mum for writing to-do lists that were tailored towards each family member. Every morning I had a random list of tasks to fulfill, and while Mum’s loving signature softened the edges of these pesky pieces of paper, I feared their mundane demands. I treated to-do lists with such disregard, such flippancy. How could I have been so blind!

What could possibly rival the utter satisfaction of crossing a troublesome task off of a to-do list? Shrouding a previously incomplete bullet point in ink is almost empowering. One by one, as my daily must-dos leave paper purgatory for blissful oblivion, I feel more and more accomplished. I feel efficient and professional, organised and inspired.

As a creative writer, I think I am supposed to have an innate hatred of to-do lists. The creative mind is supposed to be associated with utter chaos, with messy piles of brilliant thoughts crowded on coffee-stained desks. Have I committed an unmentionable sin against the creative realm, where I sometimes dwell, by declaring my undying love for a two-dimensional tool praised in the corporate world?

Although I still welcome the occasional chaotic day free of to-do lists, I can say with full-confidence, my fingers artfully smudged with ink after crossing off everything I wanted to achieve today, that to-do lists are a gift to the right side of my brain.

After all, the best teachers never aim to teach even their most diligent pupils how to think. Rather, they introduce their students to new ideas and reintroduce them to the information already tucked within the recesses of their brains.

Perhaps my love for to-do lists is innate, a genetic predisposition that only recently bubbled to the surface. Either way, I am a proud pupil of the to-do list, it’s practical wisdom my compass through the creative epicenter of my being.

So, with wizardly flare, I shall wave my inky wand and do what I have been itching to do since beginning this unusual proclamation of love: cross off “write a blog post about to-do lists” off of my to-do list 🙂

Love to list,







  1. Ted Aldrich

    To do lists are such a great way
    To feel accomplishments every day
    But mine grow as I go
    Seeking tasks that are fun
    Recording and crossing off some jobs after they’re done
    Procrastination dictates tomorrow’s first tasks
    Until top heavy undones spawn a spin-off list
    Heavy with egregious work missed
    I wonder how many levels of my lists there’ll be
    When some higher power crosses off me


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