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Barry's Blog # 10 - The importance of 'to do' lists

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

I woke up at 1.30 am on Friday morning and instantly knew why I'd been feeling lost and anxious the whole day before. It had nothing to do with Aannsha driving off to Alicante airport early Thursday morning to spend a few weeks in the United Kingdom.

Alicante Airport

It had nothing to do with having no home, no job and no country of residence. It had everything to do with 'to do' lists.

Barry's to do list

Let me tell you why I love 'to do' lists. Firstly the lists allow me to clear the clutter from my mind and make sure I don't miss an important step or a tiny detail. It also allows me to prioritise which things are the most important or that need to be done in a specific order so that everything flows smoothly. The lists also allow for unexpected things, that may pop up, to be dealt with without adding pressure and stress. And best of all the lists give me time to do nothing, because although each list drives me forward and keeps me motivated, I am inherently quite lazy and I like to spend time doing nothing.

I don't mean lazy in the sense that I lounge around on the couch all day watching reruns of Friends or Seinfeld whilst consuming my body weight in beer and chocolate. I mean lazy in the sense that I'd prefer to be doing nothing rather than working. So by my completing everything on my to do list, I am giving myself permission to stop, relax and smell the roses, and have a beer or two and maybe some chocolate.

However the stopping, relaxing and smelling the roses usually doesn't last longer than a day or two, because by completing everything on my list and clearing the clutter in my mind, it frees up my mind to come up with another idea or plan and that then gets me writing my next 'to do' list and so the process is a self perpetuating animal that gives me times of thoughtful planning and research, times of intense work and times of self nurturing relaxation.

Aannsha & Barry renovating the house

The past 17 months whilst we researched yachts, prepared the house for sale and started downsizing our belongings, Aannsha and I had been writing to, crossing off from and executing everything on the 'to do' lists. But suddenly here I was sitting in my brothers apartment in Javea, Spain without a 'to do' list, I felt quite lost and directionless.

So even though it was now 2.30am on Friday morning (after writing this blog) I began to make a new list and instantly a feeling of calm came over me. I was back behind the wheel, I was in charge of my destiny, I was gathering my thoughts and making a plan to move forward in the next step of this adventure. It felt great. Oh and the last thing on my new 'to do' list was to buy beer and chocolate.

You can read about and see evidence of one of my 'to do' lists in action in Barry's Blog #4 - It shouldn't take too long.

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