Remarkably Restrained


the title is misleading


Things I'll never do

One of the trueisms of life is that there are always more exiting possibilities and plans than there is available time.

This means that there are certain exiting plans that will dangle at the bottom of a TODO file forever. There, it may cause regret (“I’ll probably never be able to do this”) or anxiety (“I wish I could do this if only I had some more time”).

Here’s a neat trick: write briefly about the plan as if you’ve already done it. And then remove the plan from your TODO file forever.

Writing about the plan gives at least part of the satisfaction of actually executing it. (In fact, this is precisely one of the dangers of making grandiose public declarations of intent: doing so gives us part of the reward already, and as such might actually make us less likely to achieve our goals. By using the “things I’ll never do” strategy, we use this danger to our advantage.)

Of course, writing about a plan can be done in much less time than actually doing it. In that sense it is a solution for the fact that there is never enough time.

Finally, by writing about them, we might be able to let them go.