Separating Want-to’s & Have-to’s

There are 2 types of people in this world: those who make lists & those who don’t.

I’m a list person. 

I love lists. (read this like Brick from Anchorman would say “I love lamp”)

I make lists for a lot of different things but the main one is my to-do list. I start most of my days sitting through college courses where I list out all of the things I need to do or get done that day. For example:

  • Get gas
  • do homework (more specifically of course!)
  • check school email
  • check yahoo email
  • check gmail
  • go to the bank
  • go on a bike ride
  • write blog posts
  • edit blog posts
  • go to Young Life club
  • Dinner with family
  • Have quiet time

If you can write it, I can list it.

However, I am slowly learning that I battle with my to-do list most days. There are days when the list grows to over 20 items long and I feel like it will never finish it. Some days I feel like I need a to-do list to help me complete my to-do list (Don’t think about that too long, it’s confusing).

What I have realized is that my “to-do list” quickly turns into a “have to-do list.”

I battle with my to-do list often, even when most of the items on the list are things I want to do, not things I have to do. I want to go to Young Life club, I want to ride my bike, I want to write blog posts. When these things are put on my to-do lists I find myself feeling a resistance towards them.

If you’re reading this (which I am 99.9% sure you are) you might suggest I just quit making lists so my want-to’s stop becoming have-to’s. I wish it were that simple, but I’m afraid I am still a list person through and through.

(Cue transition)

“Hey Jordan, how can we keep our want-to’s from becoming have-to’s” 

Wow! I am so glad you asked! I happen to have a simple solution that I have been trying for the last few weeks. I’ve created a mega-list© (a mega-list can be defined as one list that has two columns).

My to-do list now has two columns: “have to” & “want to.” When I am making my list of all the things I need to do I am able to keep the two columns separate. This results in not feeling the resistance towards all of the things I want to do.

The goal should be to keep our want to’s from becoming have to’s. It is easy to let the things we love and enjoy become just another bullet point on a list. Fight it. If you don’t it steals joy from the things you want to do, the ways you invest in your community, and the things you decide are worth your time.

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Feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment!

Are your Want-to’s becoming Have-to’s?

if not,

How do you keep your Have-to’s & Want-to’s separate?

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3 thoughts on “Separating Want-to’s & Have-to’s

  1. Perhaps another question we could ask is how do we make our have-to’s into want-to’s? I know it’s not possible with everything but it seems like if we can find the worth in menial have-to’s it could change our perspective on have-to’s into want-to’s.

  2. I am a list person too! I feel like I take my list with a grain of salt. My school work is listed ahead of time. I normally make a weekly list. If I make a daily list I find myself feeling pressure. The benefits of a weekly list is I can get ahead, I still find myself completing my work on time, and I am not stressed out or feeling pressured. I love the mega-list idea and want to give it a try 🙂

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