I Look to Astrid So that I can Achieve “Mind Like Water” Peace and Ascend to To-Do Heaven

I am now accustomed to referring to my phone and my web versions of Astrid to see what I need to do TODAY.  Never in my life had I been this docile.  Not to my own mother, my college roommates, and not to the man that is going to marry me.  I am just one of those people who like to work on my own terms.  But for whatever reason, I am Astrid’s slave.

Astrid has become a popular to-do list manager.

You can find out more about Astrid’s features directly from the company’s website here.  More reviews about Astrid are available via the following sites:  CNET |  Lifehacker.

I have this rigor in using Astrid is so that I can achieve peace, “mind like water” peace.

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If anyone has read I Don’t Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson, the character Kate Reddy would recount the items she needs to juggle being a working mom while narrating the story.  She would describe the latest drama consuming her and then her thoughts would wonder to her grocery list, errands she needed to run, etc.  Collectively, these lists or outstanding tasks took up around fifty percent of the novel!  It was quite annoying but then that’s reality for the rest of us; the recurrent noises in our heads forever intruding our psyche, taking up much of the time we have on earth.

For the times that I am just a little bit lazy and less diligent with Astrid, then these nagging thoughts keep coming back.  Thoughts of outstanding tasks would be elicited based on other thoughts, say a similar name, a similar location, a similar image.   So, the more exposures I get to environments having stimulus that have similar traits as my unresolved items, then the more provoked and anxious I get.  This is because neurons wire together fire together.  So, thinking of one item would illicit a memory or thought of another idea with similar traits.  The challenge is I have a long list of unresolved items and I am forever reminded of what’s open ended.  That’s not a way to experience the world.  So, to achieve peace again, I revert back to my Astrid to do list.  It is that simple.

Here is the method.  When I think of something that needs to be done, I add a task via the following ways:

  1. Add to my phone;
  2. Email to tasks@astrid.com (since I sign into Astrid via google); and
  3. Login into the Astrid web portal.

I see the process as follows:

Idea/memory –> Astrid –> Action –> Outcome

I am borrowing the Elizabeth Gilbert quote from my previous post on Diwali and Heaven and Hell.

“The karmic philosophy appeals to me on a metaphorical level because even in one’s lifetime it’s obvious how often we must repeat our same mistakes, banging our heads against the same old addictions and compulsions, generating the same old miserable and often catastrophic consequences, until we can finally stop and fix it. This is the supreme lesson of karma ( and also of western psychology, by the way)- take care of the problem now, or else you’ll just have to suffer again later when you screw everything up the next time. And that repetition of suffering-that’s hell. Moving out of that endless repetition to a new level of understanding-there’s where you’ll find heaven.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

Via Astrid, I am taking care of “my problem” of missing a recurrent deadline (such as payment for DMV registration, submitting receipts to my FSA account) by setting a task and making it recurrent, so as to prevent missing any of these deadlines EVER AGAIN.  This is particularly important if some of these deadlines are dependent on other tasks such as picking up mail.  If I have it in my Astrid, I would look out for these items in my mail and if I don’t find them, then I can be proactive by following up or  simply making the payments online.

The habit of using Astrid has helped me address all the mundane aspects of life I  sometimes loathe myself for overlooking.  I am also liberating myself from the cycle of thinking about the same thing more than once.

Instead of thinking of all the action items on my list as more to dos, I think of achieving peace and liberation at the end.

At some level, I am transcending from to-do hell to to-do heaven.

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