The second I started to write a note to my friend congratulating her on expecting a baby boy, I removed the item from my list on my phone, lost forever. The familiar feeling of “well, now I really need to see this through” passed through my brain. I never really stopped to observe this habit of removing a task before the task is done but I do it all the time and likely have for years. It’s a brilliant focus technique tailored just to my strange brain that loves to check things off a to do list yet also is anxious about forgetting to do something. By removing the task from my to do list before I’m even done, it essentially locks me into the task. I always complete it. Of course, I paused to quickly jot down this post as the card sits before me, pen askew.

I don’t think any productivity hack or book would ever recommend such a risky tactic yet it works. It makes me laugh sometimes how desperate for efficiency I am, cooking breakfast while I clean up my apartment. I observe the calculations in my brain–an addiction to the hustle that I still struggle to shake. Ironically, nowadays, I hustle in order to rest, to have time to go slow, to introvert away, to collapse.


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