the Neverending To-Do List in my OCD mind

Posted on 12.03.2015


As a type-A overachiever with slight OCD, my mind is always racing, and I keep a long list in my head of all of the things I need to do, want to do, should do, and might do. I usually have to write it all down and keep it in a pile next to my bed, so I don’t forget anything, and can try to accomplish things in my spare time, which is minimal, to say the least.

IMG_0780It has meant that for the past year, maybe year and a half, I’ve been in constant ‘go’ mode, and haven’t been able to actually relax. The list was long, and had built up since starting to live out of a suitcase, and it kept bouncing around my head: edit photos I shot in 2012 for a photo series. Back up my external hard drive. Convert thousands of files to MP3 from various other forms, delete originals, back up again. Update my CV/resume. Print photos. Pull photos from my phone. READ ALL THE BOOKS. Get rid of the clothes that are too big. Reorganize the closets. Make room in the guest room. Iron all the clothes (each week). Take out the trash. Make lunch for the coming week. File taxes for 2013 (in Germany and USA). File taxes for 2014 (in Japan and USA). Get to know my new investment banker (old one switched to new accounts). Rearrange the filing system to move it out of the bedroom. Research places to camp/visit in Australia and Tasmania. Etc.

The list went on and on. That was just the most recent stuff. It’s amazing how long some things take to accomplish, especially when you have to wait on other people to do things to move them along.

However, now. TODAY. My list is clear of major things. I’ve got 11 work days until I go on vacation. The taxes have been filed, and I’ve found a TON of amazing places to check out in Tasmania, which was my big issue. The music is done, photos are done, everything is DONE.

It is SO NICE to have a clear head. To not have anything pressing that has to be done. To be able to go home and NOT look at a list. I’m excited to go home and not have anything to do. The things that are leftover are small: send some boxes to friends overseas (they are ready, sitting on a shelf). Continue to tear through the books on my shelf. I can handle that.

I can’t believe how much built up, and how many things had to be done. So far, 2014 has felt like ‘the year of getting shit accomplished’, and even from the first week, I felt like I was getting a LOT more done than normal. I guess that after settling in to life and making plans, after mostly furnishing the house, it was easy to utilize that time to finish everything. It all just seemed to fall into place.

I’m hoping that this year, and in the years to come, I can continue to be as efficient as I have been so far this year, and to never let everything pile up on me like it did the last time. I want to be able to enjoy that time off, to NOT have to think about what I have to do next, and to just be able to lay around and relax.

It was a nice surprise to cross that last thing off the list and realize there was nothing left to do. I did ALL THE THINGS.

And now I can commence ‘checking out new shit in Tokyo’. I have a tiny list of things I want to see, but that is very different from having a list of things that NEED to be done.

Posted in: life