And like many of you, I keep a to-do list of the things I’d like to accomplish in a given day or work week. It is very satisfying to knock out a task and the check off a box.
But if you’re like me, you might get frustrated when items keep re-appearing on your to-do lists, either because they’re difficult to finish in a week — or EVER! — or because they’re the sort of task that really doesn’t have a clear endpoint.
If you’re also like me, you might have already stopped putting these things on your to-do lists for just that reason.
Enter the tending list
For tasks that are ongoing, why not try out a “tending list” in favor of a to-do list?
Think about it like a garden; no one ever says, “Welp, I’m off to go finish my garden!”
Nope, you plant some seeds, pull a couple weeds, prune a few leaves, perhaps; but you’re never really “done” with it.
Now, think about some of the tasks in your life: maintaining your relationships or doing nice things for people. For personal finance, these could be keeping your resume up to date, making sure your tax documents are in order, or staying abreast of economic news.
Each of these might not fit on a to-do list, and yet, you might still want a gentle reminder to work at them from time to time.
A tending list, updated yearly or monthly, might make more sense for those things that you want to give a little bit of time to, perhaps every time you pass a list on your fridge or check the Notes app on your smart phone.
And you’d be surprised, if you devote 15 minutes to something on a tending list every day, why, that’s almost a couple hours a week, and a couple hours can definitely make a dent in making some progress on these never-ending tasks.
Anyhow, it’s an idea that I believe I’ll try out.
How about you? What would you put on your tending list?