A ridiculously simple way for getting things done

The when to do list

The when to do list

There are many things piling up in your to do list. It hurts to see them pending. Most of them are pending for no reason. Shouting at you – Just do it! God knows why; but you are not able to take that little step forward.

The educated ones call this procrastination. Or whatever suits their fancy.

Is there a solution to this? Can you ensure you can do [insert your favorite pending task here] without any more delays. Yes! There’s a solution. A magic pill. But before that here’s a secret that will shock you further

You actually don’t need to do it

Accept it. Any item is in your to do list because you ‘like’ to do it. And again it is pending because you don’t ‘want’ to do it. Getting up early is something you like but don’t want to take the pains. Got it?

What if I say you actually are not required to do it!

Don’t worry I have not lost my senses (not yet). We delay tasks and feel tired even before starting them because we make a mental picture of the effort requires to do the task. But the stamina required is just to start it and not do it.

The secret story on How to run a marathon

Let me share with you a little story that helps me when I feel stuck. One of my uncles, let’s call him John Doe, was facing a similar dilemma as yours. He was overweight and ‘liked’ to exercise to reduce extra fat.

Doctors advised him to run at least a mile daily and he had no ‘mental’ stamina to do it. He strongly believed he just can’t do this. Running a mile is ‘almost impossible’.

Then he met a crazy doctor. You know the ones who always have a solution. The doctor gave him a simpler method to lose weight.

The Doc said “John you know a recent research at Harvard has revealed a simple exercise which will give you the same impact as running a mile and reduce weight”

John was agog. Researches in Harvard tend to be true you see. “Really! What’s it. Do I need to jump, dance, sleep for whole day long?”

Doc: “Not really, that’s too much of a task. You just need to put 10% of the effort”.

John was already talking in his head. The day has come!

The Doc gave him a pebble and explained the experiment. Right in the morning 6:00 am, he has to stand in the north-west direction of his garden and across a dark corner he has to toss the pebble in the dark with some energy. “That’s it?” John asked. I can throw a bigger stone with more energy.

“No that’s not required. You see it is a well thought research. You have to pick this very stone, at the right time, throw in the right direction, at the right place. Running a marathon is optional. You just need to throw the stone, that’s it”.

The right brain of John was skeptic whether this will reduce his weight, but then who the heck will challenge a Harvard research backed by a 50 years old doctor.

The next morning John just followed what he was supposed to do.

And then something really strange happened

Around 6:45 am in the morning John was at the doctor’s residence. Gasping for breath and cursing him.

Right at the corner of the garden where no one went, lived a big black bull dog. John threw the stone with sufficient energy and Bang! The dog came running after him. Roaring like a tiger; Hungry for revenge. The only option John had was to save his life. Run!

“Relax, John” said the doc. “You see, you ran approximately 2 miles today without a halt. That’s under 30 minutes. Trying to do even half of this seemed impossible right.

You never planned to run this long, all you were required to do was just throw the pebble. Rest is taken care by itself”

Moral of the story

I hope you got the message. At times you have to

  1. Just start it and the rest follows. Take the plunge and you will be surprised of your own stamina
  2. Throw a pebble really hard. And it will ensure you run.

The pebble can be anything. Declare your goals to your colleagues, publish it online, etc. Once everyone starts taunting your failures you don’t have any options but success!

So go ahead throw the pebble and get things done! Now.

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mohini sharma January 26, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Hey really gr8 article.I will try this to complete my pending work :)

Himanshu Chanda January 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Thanks for the comment Mohini. Do get back and let me know if it works 😉

Melvin January 27, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Simple logic yet true. I think its a matter of liking the task too because thats the only way you can move on..

Himanshu Chanda January 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Yes if its a personal choice struggle converts into passion. However at times you need to throw pebbles when you dont have an option…. 😉

Natalie Sisson January 27, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Love this and the very simple story you painted. I love to do lists but am weary of putting too much on them. I also know that not everything can ever be completed so it’s a matter of chipping away at it and prioritizing the most important things first.

Once we realise and acknowledge that we’re not super heroes and there will always be things to do we will be happier at completing things bit by bit and applying more effort each day


Himanshu Chanda January 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Thanks for the comment Natalie. Simplicity is definitely something we should always strive for. A To-Do list with bare minimum things is not only achievable but also pushes us to focus on more our real goals.

Appreciate your views…

Sandra February 1, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Hi, I liked so much your post that I posted a translation here in my blog: http://pajasvarias.wordpress.com/2011/02/01/forma-simple-para-hacer-las-cosas/
Hope you don’t mind.
Thanks for writing!

Simon Duck February 8, 2011 at 9:37 am

Haha, such a great story and a great way to make someone loss weight! I always have to-do lists everyday and luckily most of the time I do get them done, however, I do sometimes cross the points I don’t like off and pretend they were never there!

archana bhattarai December 16, 2011 at 12:32 am

hey himanshu,came up across ur site and then read few articles…all simple and true facts have u come up with…and the way you write is awesome..:)…the way you put up things in simple language is just so nice…keep up the good work…:)

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