Check That off Your Todo List

putting off seeing friendsHow do you get yourself to do something… something you have been meaning to do?

“Tonight,” you say, “I’ll do it tonight.” And tomorrow you say it again.

When I was about 8 years old, someone gave me a small green address book. I used to write the names of the boys I like in it. Even gave them star ratings, from 1 to 5.  

In the front of this book was a poem that struck me, at that tender age, as being so powerful and totally appropriate for an address book. I learned the poem by heart and would often think about the words. I still do. 

It is about friendship but, much more than that, it is about the cost of not doing what we want to do. It is about procrastination. So, this week, I invite you to get out your ToDo list – or conjure it up in your head.  

Think of the things you are putting off doing, and then read this little poem. It is called: 

Around The Corner   

Around the corner I have a friend,
In this great city that has no end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
And before I know it, a year is gone.

And I never see my old friends face,
For life is a swift and terrible race,
He knows I like him just as well,
As in the days when I rang his bell.

And he rang mine but we were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired men.
Tired of playing a foolish game,
Tired of trying to make a name.

“Tomorrow” I say! “I will call on Jim
Just to show that I’m thinking of him”,
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
And distance between us grows and grows.

Around the corner, yet miles away,
“Here’s a telegram sir,” “Jim died today.”
And that’s what we get and deserve in the end.
Around the corner, a vanished friend.

So what are you putting off doing?  

  1. Don’t break another promise to yourself.  
  2. Start checking things off your ToDo list.
  3. If you are never going to do something on your list, delete it and stop beating yourself up for not doing it.
  4. If the project you’re putting off is a big one, break it into smaller pieces.
  5. If you’re stalling on anything to do with friendship, pick up the phone!

Your life is now.

Get Motivated. START NOW! 

If you need help, try “More in 5 Minutes a Day”




Author: Sue Hines

  1. maxwell iveymaxwell ivey09-09-2014

    Hi Sue; I loved the poem. It helps remind you of what is really important. I have to work on telling people I appreciate them. I am great at it online but not so great at it in person or at least not with my family who I am around constantly. I wonder what aspect challenges you my friend? take care, Max
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    • Sue HinesSue Hines09-09-2014

      Hello Max, We all have blind spots. I am not sure there is a single solution, though. I find the most valuable thing is being reminded in different ways that it exists. That way, we can slowly but surely chip away at it. Make sense?

  2. Sue — I know that poem well. It’s sad. I do try to keep up with my friends and family who are so precious to me. I feel blessed to have them in my life. I lost my brother unexpectedly this past March and I miss him so. I cherish the memories of our good times together.

    • Sue HinesSue Hines09-03-2014

      Jeannette, I am so sorry for your loss, but am glad you have great memories to draw on and keep your brother in your heart.

  3. Jacqueline GumJacqueline Gum09-02-2014

    That poem made my heart go thump. A few years back,. I made a promise to myself that no matter how hectic my life has become, I will always take time out to touch base with my friends…and I will always make time for a friend in need.. I think I have managed to be pretty true to my promise. Here is a poem I have tacked above my desk:
    Some day many years from now, we’ll sit beside the candle’s glow
    Exchanging tales about our past and laughing as the memories flow
    And when that distant day arrives, I know it will be understood
    That friendship is the key to life…and we were friends and it was good – Eileen Hehl

    • Sue HinesSue Hines09-02-2014

      Oh, that is great! I love that! We do need these reminders of our promises to ourselves and it sounds like yours is working for you, Jacquie. Thanks for sharing – you never know when something will resonate and allow someone to make that shift.

  4. Susan CooperSusan Cooper09-02-2014

    Well that really makes one stop and think now, doesn’t it? But I guess that is the purpose. To realize that tomorrow isn’t promised. To stop and smell the roses as they say, spend time with friends and family and stop putting off things on your bucket list that you want to do. Thanks for sharing.

    • Sue HinesSue Hines09-02-2014

      Susan, it sounds like something hit home for you. yes, the finiteness of this moment can be awe-inspiring. I often wonder if a bucketlist is a good idea. So far, I’ve decided that if it covers just the year ahead, it probably is. If there are longer term goals, the focus whould still be on what it takes NOW to stay on track.

  5. Eve KoivulaEve Koivula09-02-2014

    My Mom died in January and I promised myself to learn a new habit of calling or seeing, well, checking up on my Dad every week. Only yesterday I realized another couple of weeks have gone by without keeping my promise. He did not sound sorry when I called though, not sorry that I do, nor that I hadn’t called in a while.
    I’m not all he’s got, so I shouldn’t blame myself for slacking. And I did spend most of last winter beside him helping around. Still, it’s definitely something I should keep up a little better because it’s a promise I made myself.

    • Sue HinesSue Hines09-02-2014

      Hi Eve, thanks for sharing that. So sorry for your loss. I was thinking about your reply and how we often do make commitments and then let them slide. Even if it is a personal thing, I find putting it in my calendar (recurring appointment, if necessary) does help to keep me on track. My best to you and your family.

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