Amy M. Hawes | Summertime To-Do List Blues
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Summertime To-Do List Blues

If you’re headed in the wrong direction, it doesn’t matter how fast you travel. If you’re headed in the right direction, it doesn’t matter how long you take.

 

It’s summertime, and it’s a quintessential fact that getting work done is a struggle. The ocean beckons, the lake needs you to take a dip in it, getting off work early and having a margarita at an outdoor bar is a must. Friends, fun, and relaxing and enjoying life, become priorities. Truth is, you’re lazier – your drive diminishing as the days elongate. Work changes from a source of satisfaction to a creator of guilt.

 

I can relate.

 

Recently, I was working at a cafe. Yes, actually working 🙂 Near the coffee station were some to-do list notebooks for sale. One of them was titled: A List of Things I’ll Eventually Do in No Particular Order. That one hits close to home, I thought as I chuckled.

 

During the summer, instead of ticking items on my list at a pace that screams, “Productivity and accomplishment happening here!” I spend an embarrassing amount of time reorganizing and rewriting lists to disguise the fact that the same items are in a holding pattern in the sky with no hope of landing in reality. Then I feel way too much elation when one breaks the gravitational pull of procrastination and accelerates into the rarified universe of DONE.

 

Guilt does nothing to eject an agenda item out of its summertime recycling. In fact, it stabilizes the orbit. The more you resist the tighter the hold, like Chinese finger handcuffs.

 

When I realize that pressure is making it worse, the solution becomes clear. Give up the fight. My efficiency slows down in the summer. So what? When the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, my work ethic emerges from summertime hibernation – the opposite of a bear who diligently hunts and eats in good weather and rests in bad.

 

Making peace with these simple facts has had an unexpected and happy result. I’ve become more productive. Not the variety of productivity that evokes pride. But enough so that it’s enough. Here’s the thing – as long as I’m headed in the right direction it’s going to turn out okay.

 

If you’re headed in the wrong direction, it doesn’t matter how fast you travel. If you’re headed in the right direction, it doesn’t matter how long you take.

1 Comment
  • Sara

    Too true. Glad to hear it applies to others as well! Doing lots of things, work, social, building a business, enjoyment, maximizing every minute, enjoying all the Nantucket events and people, feeling not particularly efficient. Sometimes, the pace is the pace. 🙂

    July 25, 2017 at 10:48 pm
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