The Immortal Task

Maybe you’ve heard of The Immortal Task. Maybe you’ve seen it. Maybe you’ve experienced it.

It’s the task on a to-do list that forever sits undone.

It’s the task that gets left until the end of each day. The task that gets put off until tomorrow. The one that starts to fade into the background.

Although the task may be immortal, not everything is.

Trust in the to-do list. Productivity. Willpower. Self-esteem. These things start to die as The Immortal Task lives on.

The Immortal Task is typically born of one of two sources.

First, the task is not a priority. Maybe it was before. But this is no longer the case. Other things now take precedence.

In this case, the task should be removed from the to-do list. Perhaps it should be deferred to a Someday/Maybe List. Or maybe it should simply be deleted.

Second, the task is actually a project. This means it’s multiple tasks disguised as one. This makes it intimidating–not only must the task be completed, but first the work to be done has to be identified.

In this case, the project should be broken down. Each of the steps should be a separate task on the to-do list. For completeness, the project should be tracked on a Projects List and reviewed weekly.

These are the strategies I usually use to tackle The Immortal Task.

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