What’s not on your list?


I do a pretty good job of writing down things I need to or want to do. I’m sure you do, too. But there are always things that don’t make it onto our list.

Things we didn’t think of when planned our week, chores we’ve been putting off and are piling up, things we know we should do but haven’t scheduled like contacting old clients or old friends.

Author Fumio Sasaki in his book Goodbye Things calls this your “silent to-do list”.

The problem is, if you add everything to your list, your list can become overwhelming.

Your days are booked “8-to-faint” cranking out billable work, keeping up with admin, and stoking the marketing fires to make sure everything continues. Which means you don’t have time or energy for other things like bigger projects that can advance your career, learning, or something none of us do enough of—resting.

There’s only one solution. Cut your lists down to the essentials to make room.

When you can see daylight on your calendar, when your lists aren’t crushing you with urgent deadlines, when you look at what’s planned for the day and feel good about getting it all done, you are running your life instead of your schedule running you.


For a change, you’re not constantly exhausted and stretched to the limit. You’re getting your priorities done and have time left to do other things.

What other things?

You can do other work if you feel like it, call old friends, or go for a walk. You can sit in the park with a novel you’ve been dying to read, or take a nap.

You’ll have the bandwidth to do things that are important but aren’t on a list. And they might be some of the most important things you do all day.