• Eric Rushton

To-do List

- Today I will write for one whole hour.

- Today I will do yoga.

- Today I will read my book. I would like to read one book a week this year. My current book has 437 pages in it and traditionally there are 7 days in a week. That means today I must read 62.4285714286 pages.

- Today I will watch something educational on the internet. Maybe that Crash Course Linguistics series on the internet. I will use the knowledge I gain in order to advance me socially, economically and romantically. I am a learning machine, constantly improving myself. I can do anything.

- Today I will eat 5 pieces of fruit or veg. Possibly two fruit and three veg.

- Today I will stop using the word “today” in my to do list, in order to save time. I know the task is to be done today. It’s not necessary.

- I will do something productive with the extra time I save from not writing the word “today”. I’m not sure what yet.

- Maybe I could time how long it takes me to write my to-do list while starting each item with the word “today” vs how long it takes without writing the word “today”. I could then decide how to spend the seconds or possibly minutes saved.

- Of course, then I would have to factor in the time taken to run the experiment, which would be more than the time saved. Also, the time taken to decide how to use the extra time would also mean I’d have to update my schedule.

- So maybe I should just carry on putting the word “today” at the start of each item. I mean…

- Today, I should just carry on putting the word “today” at the start of each item.

- But then actually, if I run the experiment, and work out how much time I save by omitting the word “today” today, I could save time tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day. The experiment only needs to be run once. Or maybe three times for reliability. But by then I should know how much time I save by not writing the word “today” and I can allocate that time in my schedule to something else. This could really revolutionise my to-do list going forward. It just means I’ll have to make a small sacrifice today, by running the “today” experiment, and then I will know once and for all.

- I’m starting to wonder though if, in fact, the use of the word “today” at the start of each item isn’t so unnecessary after all. Since even just considering dropping it, my focus has gone, and I am starting to ramble. Maybe using the word “today” gives the to-do list some sort of rhythmic quality.

- Today, I will go with my gut and not make any drastic changes vis-à-vis the word “today”.

- Today, I will apply for 3 jobs.

- Today, I will do a Facebook post to advertise my maths tutoring service.

- Today, I will finally figure out what I want to do with my life and what my goals are, and I will draw up a 5-year plan that is both realistic and ambitious.

- Today, I have just realised I am starting each item with the word “today” followed by a comma, whereas at the start of the to-do list there was no comma after “today”.

- I hate this list. I won’t complete it. I never have.

- I’m a failure.

- I need to relax, maybe.

- Maybe it’s all about self-care.

- Today is a mental-health day. Ignore all previous items. Look after yourself, Eric Rushton.

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