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Add Fun to Your To-Do List, Too

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Looking ahead to weekend free time is one of the best parts about Friday, when I can think about lightening up and adding more fun to my to-do list. I still have to get the dry cleaning and wedge in a trip to the grocery store, but there are going to be some lovely uncharted hours in there where I can fit in some fun, and half the pleasure is in the anticipation. Already I’m smiling as I try to decide between trying my hand at a four-layer lemon cake with a coconut frosting, or challenging myself a little more to finally break out the canning equipment I bought in a fit of domesticity that lapsed. Then maybe I can invite a friend over for a slice of cake, or to share a jar of jam …


You might guess that I’m a gal who likes a plan, and I know I’m in good company with other list makers who love their lists almost as much as the listed items. As a planner, I love to write out my goals and work on them every day, but sometimes I forget that fun and frivolity belong on the list as well. As I was thinking of ways to add more pleasure to my daily life, I realized that the answer was right in front of me: it just belongs on the list! Too often I simply use the list for work tasks and household errands. But what better way to use it than to add health, fun, and laughter to my life?


Taking this a step further is something I’m going to do next week. Every Sunday I sit down and look at what is happening in the week ahead, and what needs to get done when. Since the best way to guarantee pleasure is to plan for it, I’m going to plan time for reading, walking, and friendship—some things that get pushed aside too often when the week gets busy. If I get really ambitious, I might make a wish list of things to do that sound like fun, and a list of places I’d like to get to. If there is one thing I know as a veteran list maker, it’s that something written down has a greater chance of coming to life than something that just stays in my head, soon to be forgotten.


When we remember to put fun on an equal footing with the other tasks in our lives, life gets better and we get happier—and that’s really the ultimate goal of a successful to-do list.

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