Declaring “bankruptcy” — effectively abandoning what’s left behind and then starting again — can be a useful technique for dealing with everything from email to laundry. But what happens if you declare bankruptcy on your entire to-do list?
Photo by ebby
On his blog, Exetel managing director John Linton says he’s decided ahead of an overseas trip that there’s no point maintaining an ongoing list of to-do items that simply aren’t going to get done:
There is absolutely no way that I am going to get through my current to do list let alone deal with the 4 – 5 things I add to it most days so I have decided to do what I should have done many years ago – I’m going to ignore it and simply do what I can in the next fortnight. I have worked under the pressure of meticulously adhering to a work schedule that only ends when I have done everything I set out to do each day or just got too tired to continue trying and that is too great a burden for me as I continue to age in mind and body.
Instead, Linton suggests, he’s simply going to get done what he can and rely on other staff to complete any unneeded tasks. Lest that make him sound selfish, he also notes that this might be a way for him to actually abandon his own controlling tendencies:
It is now well past time for Exetel’s managers to take on a much more serious part of the decision making and for us to employ a few more people to allow them more time to do that.
We’ve touched on this topic before, and obviously you can’t abandon truly essential tasks. It’s also undoubtedly easier to do this in the context of an organisation than if you’re a sole trader and there’s literally no-one else to get the job done. Nonetheless, if you’re feeling oppressed by the tyranny of an extensive to-do list, it’s a tactic to consider.
Ever declared “to-do bankrputcy” and survived? Tell us about the experience in the comments.
14 Days And Counting [John Linton’s Personal Musings]