By Matt Gordon
Today when I got to work, I made a to-do list. It was lengthy, doggedly so. There isn’t much chance of my getting to everything, and it’s daunting to begin a day—any old day—from a position of failure. Trust me, I’ve been doing it my whole life and there is nothing so tiresome aside from maybe Jazzercise. Truly, it is downright depressing. The failure stuff not Jazzercise . . . but, come to think of it . . .
Anyway, I begin my day with the looming questions: Who do I let down? What do I dismiss? When do I find time to cry?
It stops here.
I will not be weak! I won’t let a bunch of threats about “getting fired” or being an “utter disappointment” or “complete degenerate” affect me. In fact, that is what I checked off first on my new Not-To-Do List. I made it shortly after staring into the abyss of my To-Do List/soul, and I’m entirely confident it is comprised of things I can avoid doing with masterful precision. And just like that, a success! All from a better form of list-making. I invite you, ahead of the self-help/leadership book I plan to
monetize write on the topic, to comprise your own Not-To-Do List for the next week or so. I’ll publish my own below as a sort of template. As to your newfound, robust success—you’re welcome.
Matt’s Not-To-Do List for February 11 – February Whenever, 2021
-Don’t let a bunch of threats about “getting fired” or being an “utter disappointment” or “complete degenerate” affect me.
-Don’t do the laundry.
-Get real fanatical about lacrosse.
-Be sure not to call the police except in the case of emergency.
-Don’t eat any spoiled foods (especially meats).
-Don’t go jean-short shopping. Not this week. No time.
-Don’t worry about 2024 taxes just yet.
-Amass a “following” on social media or make a bunch of/any “friends” outside of social media.
-Don’t bother trying to break my personal unbreakable record for beating Super Mario Bros. 3 (eighteen minutes, twenty-nine seconds).
-Don’t mess with trying to find a banjo and become a super good banjo player this week.
-Don’t water ski or surf or snorkel . . . really, just avoid water, save for drinks and showers.
-Or karaoke. Or karate. Or karaoke karate.
-Don’t record The Masked Dancer and watch it back a bunch in slow motion in order to mimic the moves and generally become more in-tune with internal and external rhythms.
-The LEGO model depicting prominent scenes of my life can wait.
-Don’t memorize the flags of the world.
-Don’t dutifully Double Dutch or worry about needless, annoying alliteration.
–Don’t start that screenplay I haven’t planned on starting.
-Don’t eat a bunch of vegetables.
-Don’t start my New Year’s workout. What’s one more week?
-Don’t finally get to War and Peace.
-In fact, don’t even think about anything Russian this week. Absolutely nyet.
-Don’t alphabetize or even reverse alphabetize anything.
-Don’t quit everything and take a fresh start on life. Descend a little further yet.
-Don’t win the Powerball—let it build, baby.
-Don’t begin any tedious, violent feuds.
-Murder and the like.
-Don’t spend too much time on creating the Not-To-Do List just so I can check things off and feel better about myself. Just get enough on there to feel pretty good and further neglect all the shortcomings the To-Do List illuminates.
-Don’t think too much about the To-Do List.
-Once again, be sure not to let a bunch of threats about “getting fired” or being an “utter disappointment” or “complete degenerate” affect me.