Keeping up with tasks and to do lists is a form of hiding from work we know we need to do but are afraid to. It’s too ultimate, and it touches on our limitations, even our mortality. So instead we make a checklist and plow through it, so that we can enjoy the satisfaction of accomplishment without the discomfort and uncertainty that come with those . . . other things:
Writing a proposal for something nobody has tried before.
Calling that friend we know is struggling.
Scheduling a colonoscopy.
Our humanity and our greatest impact on the world and the people in it we care about lays in those things we keep putting off. We probably know that.