#truth – You will never complete your to-do list

This whole idea about NEVER totally finishing my to-do list was an epiphany I had this past week.

A total ‘DUH’ moment.

When have I ever finished my to-do list? Um…never.

Have you?

I might check all the boxes off of a list I’ve made, but there’s always still laundry to be done, books and blog posts to write, marketing and social media posts to create, quilts to finish, toilets to clean, miles to run, and on and on and on.

It’s kind of like the hand quilt I’ve been working on for, maybe, eight years? Actually, when I think about it, it’s probably been “in progress” for well over a decade.

hand quilt

It’s not done. It will probably never be done, in the traditional sense of the word. The hands look like lobster claws, and I haven’t been able to get them “right.” This was a piece about exploring. I actually drew the pattern by hand, and I don’t consider myself a “draw-er” at ALL. And, I tried several new sewing techniques and had fun creating it. That’s enough.

I guess in that sense, it’s “done” though it’s not quilted, bound, and hanging on the wall or draped over a table.

Whether it’s my writing, quilting, or even in my business, I’m constantly coming up with new ideas to create and launch into the world. And there’s always client work to do.

I don’t think I’ve EVER fully completed a to-do list. I consistently assign myself FAR more than any normal human could get done in a day, week, or year.

So WHY do I continue to try to every damn day? And then feel crappy that I didn’t get all those boxes checked?

It was SO freeing to realize that if I don’t finish my never-ending to-do list, that I’m NOT “an unproductive loser.” Reframing it to, “I’ll never get it ALL done, so I’ll get to it tomorrow” feels SO much better.

And, it frees up time to play! Win!


  1. Patricia Ruth Milland on June 28, 2019 at 12:37 am

    When it’s all done – you’ll be done! I got a 2nd chance at life and I no longer worry about to-do lists. I might make a short list of 3 things in the evening if I remember, which I usually get done…and I’m happy with myself. Enjoy your life.! I love you.

    • Amy Isaman on June 28, 2019 at 3:20 pm

      The wise words from one of my favorite crones. Yes, my new mission is to enjoy my life. It’s far too easy to slip into doing doing doing and to forget that the focus on BEING is WAY more fun.

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