I was resting on a lazy afternoon last week, drifting in and out with TEDtalks streaming, (as it often does) when a voice, or a phrase, took hold of my consciousness.
‘You’ve got more to do.’
I didn’t listen much further to the message, mantra, or the moral of the speaker’s presentation, but this phrase immediately got me thinking.
I do have more to do. Hell, I’ve got a lot to do.
Then a bigger thought: why aren’t I doing them; it. More.
I keep a list on a scrap of blue paper inside the cover of my dayplanner, separated into several columns depending on urgency or importance. I’ve got projects and plans on the go (some in dire latency), several manuscripts in various stages of undress, and a mouthful of commitments and obligations. Occasionally I will even add a couple of items, or erase a line from the page when it is completed. It does get messy.
About a month back I even took a fresh scrap of paper, reprinted the blue list, and tried to get organized with the intention of jumping back on track as soon as I returned from a much-needed vacation.
I even added a couple of tasks while on holidays.
A few weeks later, I actually moved a project from one column to another after spending three glorious days doing nothing else but writing and editing work that desperately needed the time and attention.
But I haven’t taken it any further. I’ve still got more to do
There is one particular issue that is, and has (for months now), tarnished my capacity to do what I need and want to do. The tendrils of this hindrance have legal implications, trust issues weighed down by questions of culpability, ignorant assumptions and misunderstandings, and it continues to move at the speed of bureaucracy.
I deal with it. Lately, it seems that it is all I have been dealing with.
I know the necessity of putting the work in and getting my ducks in a row, and I’ve always been good at compartmentalizing and know what is required, but this one serious and suspiciously protracted issue has taken up too much of my bandwidth.
Just keeping up with my obligations and maintaining commitments to my self, leaves little room for anything else.
And, I’ve sill got more to do.
I printed the message on a sticky note, and placed it on the first page of a brand new scribbler (it’s always easier to begin or continue anything on a fresh page). I even pulled out a big sturdy pencil and readied myself to get going or planning, my next step.
Then I stared at it.
I’m still staring at it.
‘You’ve got more to do’.
This reminder hits on so many levels — long-term or immediate, personally or professionally, singularly or holistically — that I could create a flow chart indicating the importance of each task, or the order in which they must be completed. I also know that would simply take up time (read procrastinating) where I should be doing something.
I’ve got more to do.
We’ve all got places we want to see, books we need to read, relationships to nourish or mend, career goals, fitness or wellness objectives, things to repair or replace, and activities and events to attend. Finding time, inspiration, and cash, is not always easy. Let’s face it; it is easier to find excuses than it is reasons why you should be doing more.
Still, you know you need to do more.
So why aren’t you?
© 2019 j.g. lewis