Let 1 Thing Go

Thursday is a great day to do that 1 thing you don’t want to do but also don’t want to continue thinking about doing. 

Today my 1 thing is to have a chat with Meaghan O’Connell about 1 thing. Unlike most 1 things, I’ve ~already done it~.

Logan: Meaghan this is a chat in which I would like to accomplish 2 things: Tell you I don’t want to do 1 thing anymore because I’ve done all the possible things there are to do (ha), and also ask you to take over doing 1 thing. Do you have any thoughts on either of these matters y/n

Meaghan: I am afraid that my 1 things will be embarrassing, or that I won’t actually be willing to do them. I think putting off doing my own personal one things is a way to punish myself because I don’t deserve to be a person who does the things on her to-do list. So like, if I do the Things what else do I have to confront about myself. AM I ACTUALLY LOVABLE.

LS: Whoa that is deep. Whoa. WHOA. Is that why I have such a problem with this??!?!??!!?

MOC: Maybe? I feel like if ever I am feeling good I’ll be like, Well but you didn’t call the doctor, you monster!

LS: Wait maybe this post is why I hate myself. Should we discontinue Do 1 Thing!??!?!?

MOC: HA

LS: Is it a good thing gone bad??

MOC: I don’t know, I feel like other people like it. Like they just do things

LS: It’s never really worked for me

MOC: Did you ever do the things because of the post

LS: Maybe at first because I felt like I had to do the thing to write the post. But then I was realized, Oh I can just say I’m going to do something, and that’s not lying, because I might do it, and I always intended to do it, but sometimes I didn’t do it.

MOC: But then the post became the thing

LS: The post became the thing!

MOC: Yeah that would/will happen to me, too. Ha. Mike should be the 1 Thing person, except he probably just does his things immediately. And has a great explanation for why.

LS: Yes he’s explained this to me, the concept doesn’t make sense to him, to do something once a week, because he’s like, wait why wouldn’t you just do it as soon as you needed to do it.

MOC: ‘Why let it linger and make you feel bad all week?’ WHY, INDEED.

LS: I DON’T KNOW MIKE.

MOC: Because we are complicated emotional people?!?!

LS: Maybe someone who likes 1 thing should take over the posts each week, since they stress you out, and they stress me out, and Mike is like, 1 thing what. We could have auditions.

MOC: Hahaha. We need someone of average neuroses.

LS: hahhaha yes.

MOC: And I certainly don’t know anyone who qualifies

LS: No I don’t either, not at all. Omg I just had an EVEN BETTER IDEA.

MOC: What is it!

LS: Okay so like, we could take everyone else’s 1 things, from the comments, and just use those, and preschedule the posts, and then we’ll never have to think about our own 1 thing ever again, except if we see the post and then we can be like, oh yeah, I should call the chiropractor, or whatever. “FEATURED 1 THING”

MOC: Ooh like, “Last week, Jennifer called about her car insurance.” Or should it be a follow-up, like, I email someone from the comments to ask them if they did their Thing and how it went? Taking my own life out of it?

LS: YES. LESS US MORE THEM. The followups sound like work, but if you like work, GO AHEAD.

MOC: Can we ask the readers to tell us what they like about 1 thing and make a case for it to continue?

LS: YEP. READERS. Is this weekly post helpful AT ALL, or it just a reminder that you are a slob who can’t get your shit together? Answer in the comments okay bye.

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66 Comments / Post A Comment

Bill Fostex (#573)

Sobbing.

sea ermine (#122)

I LOVE THE ONE THING. Ok so I have…I don’t know what to call it but I have no focus and am easily distracted and get overwhelmed with stuff and forget things and procrastinate because I hate trying to remember the things I have to do. But, because of this I am also an intense lover of to do lists and schedules so having the one thing pop up makes a huge difference as to whether or not I get things done. It gives me a day, Thursday, to focus on it and it feels sort of like a community thing because you get to read the comments and everyone is doing their things. And yeah, occasionally I wont do my thing because of issues or whatever but most of the time I do and I do way more things and get things done much faster and better because of the ‘one thing thursday’. So, I hope the one thing stays.

Allison (#4,509)

@sea ermine I do like sometimes planning what my one thing will be.

sea ermine (#122)

@Allison Yes! Honestly, I’d be happy to write in my one things and you can use those, because I’d really like to see this column stay!

shannowhamo (#845)

@sea ermine @sea ermine I love it, too! I like to hear what little tasks other people put off, it’s interesting! I feel like I would be a great candidate for a less-stressful 1 Thing because I put lame mildly stressful things off (unlike Mike) but also don’t get too down on myself when I further put off the thing(s.)

For example, I’ve needed to get my car inspected for all of February. But then it became March BUT there’s a 5 day grace period so was going to do it by the 5th. But then I still didn’t get it done until today….but I did it! Yay!

sea ermine (#122)

@shannowhamo Yes!! See that’s a perfect example of a one thing!

Allison (#4,509)

A lot of times I avoid the 1 thing post, not because I’m so on top of things, but because the things on my list are things I won’t even pretend will get done.

But today I need to go to Walgreens to pick up a perscription. And also get cash out to give to a friend I owe.

Daisy (#1,822)

I hardly ever post, but I love the one thing posts! Now, I save up all my One Things for Thursdays and it makes doing them sooooooooooooooooooooo much better (and they actually get done!)

I also love 1 Thing posts!

A few weeks ago my 1 Thing was to contact therapists, and it’s conveniently worked out that my appointments are Thursdays, so now if I don’t accomplish 1 Thing I can at least say I bared my soul to a semi-stranger?

My 1 Thing is to swim after work and to stop eating all the crappy foods. I promised myself I could wear my cuter suit tonight to try to motivate myself, but I’m also PMSing, so I’m guessing I’m going to go 1 for 2 on these.

andnowlights (#2,902)

Oh man, I feel like the “One thing” posts are super popular. Please don’t discontinue them! Can one of us take it over, maybe? I’d totally volunteer! I really love them because it forces me to do at least ONE of the things I am putting off. Most of them aren’t super urgent so I don’t feel an overwhelming amount of guilt about them, but it’s nice to check it off my list.

My one thing today was to figure out how my husband and I are getting to the airport for our trip in May. I sent him an email with the subject “airport parking” and that’s when I realized being an adult is the worst sometimes. However, we decided on an option so now I just have to buy the Groupon for it, which really only requires getting up and getting my credit card but it seems so far away. I will do it in 10 minutes, though!

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

@andnowlights I second this. I really enjoy 1 Thing, it gives me a chance to think about what I’ve been putting off and prioritize it. Also they’re fun and communal like the Friday Estimate and Monday Check-in. #SAVE1THING

ThatJenn (#916)

@EvanDeSimone @andnowlights I took both your names in vain below. You’re welcome. #SAVE1THING indeed.

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

I am deeply dependent on 1 Thing in order to get anything done. Please don’t take this away from me!

My 1 Thing this week was to do my taxes (this was also my 1 Thing several weeks ago and then I realized I was missing some paperwork that I needed) I did my taxes and now I will receive a pleasant refund in a few weeks. I also had jury duty this week. I’ not sure why I feel that these things are intrinsically related. Basically, I fulfilled all my basic responsibilities as a citizen this week. You’re welcome America.

aetataureate (#1,310)

@EvanDeSimone I even love just reading and supporting everyone’s 1 Things! Last week the comments reminded me that taxes existed and that I could finally do mine (all the forms in hand), then Monday when my day-off plans got cancelled I just did them. 1 Thing.

Vicky (#2,266)

Thursday One Thing is pretty much the only reason I end up doing anything loathsome and otherwise avoidable. Today I went to the post office AND made an eye doctor appointment! Tomorrow I will resume doing nothing.

Stina (#686)

@Vicky See Logan and Meaghan! She made an eye appointment. And polka dots vs stripes made a therapy appointment in an earlier one thing. If you stop this the collective health of the community will start to fail…….

Caitlin with a C (#3,578)

I like 1 thing! Sometimes I just float around doing things, and it’s a good reminder to think about what I NEED to accomplish. This week, I need to accomplish: buying plane tickets! Seriously, it’s getting not that far from the trip I am taking, and I need to have plane tickets so I know when to schedule other things. That will be my thing for the next few days (involves coordinating with a significant other and out-of-the-country friend, so I’m not even going to pretend to myself like this will happen today, but I can start scouting flights at least).

andnowlights (#2,902)

@Caitlin with a C Buying flights never ends for me without a call to my dad “Do you think THIS is the best price I’m going to get?” I think last time I did this he ended up screening my calls.

ThatJenn (#916)

I know for a fact there are multiple readers who would take over 1 Thing to make it keep happening (myself included, but also @EvanDeSimone and @andnowlights above… I can personally testify that all three of us tend to have our week revolve around this site’s recurring features). Don’t discontinue it! Talk at one or more of us.

My 1 Thing was to renew my flood insurance. DONE! For $390 I have a year of coverage at a bit below the max allowed coverage.

Caitlin with a C (#3,578)

@ThatJenn Amen! I’d help that cabal of awesome.

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

@Caitlin with a C Yes! Let’s assemble a Cabal of Accountability!

andnowlights (#2,902)

@EvanDeSimone @thatjenn I feel like @caitlin with a c needs to go through an initiation rite.

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

@andnowlights @thatjenn @caitlin with a c You mean the official hazing? Yeah definitely.

Caitlin with a C (#3,578)

@EvanDeSimone @andnowlights Bring it.

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

@Caitlin with a C Line up the Jager shots!

andnowlights (#2,902)

@EvanDeSimone Jager? Okay, you’re handling phase 1. I already did that once. I’ll handle phase 3, Jenn can handle phase 2.

sherlock (#3,599)

Logan, please keep doing 1 Thing posts! I don’t even care if you continue to actually Do 1 Thing, basically it could be the same text every week as long as you keep coming up with clever/cute Do 1 Thing titles. They actually might be one of my favorite parts, or at least one of the most endearing parts, of the Billfold.

muggles (#1,525)

I would definitely suggest keeping the feature, BUT I don’t know that we necessarily need you to post a real-life example from yourselves every week? Maybe style it more like the open threads, where it’s more just Here is the Post Have Fun.

echolikebells (#3,272)

I love 1 Thing so much, it keeps me honest! And productive! I would be ridiculously sad to not have it.

My 1 Thing today was to do a budget at work that I’ve been avoiding for two weeks. I just finished it. I should also probably unload the dishwasher when I go home. That will be my home 1 Thing.

kitryan (#6,105)

I created an account *just* to say that I love 1 Thing. I read it every week and it makes me feel that if I did at least one thing that I’d been dreading/putting off this week, then I’m not doing too badly. My thing today was using my gift cards at Amazon and Powell’s Books to buy my father’s birthday presents (preordering the next books in his favorite series) and kitty litter (I can’t always find the only brand the cat and I can agree on in the local grocery).
Maybe now that I have a log in I’ll start doing the other check in posts too!

Stina (#686)

@kitryan Yah Kitryan join us!

honey cowl (#1,510)

Pleeeeeeeeease don’t leeeeeeeeave Logannnnnnnnnnn

My 1 thing was to give the vet all my dollars for my puking cat

scn231 (#1,705)

@honey cowl Have you tried kitty probiotics? I got the fortiflora ones on amazon, and they’re like $27 which is sort of expensive, but way cheaper than a vet visit. My cat went from puking every five or six days to – never! it was amazing.

BillfoldMonkey (#1,754)

Love 1Thing! Please keep! I love having the illusion of accountability, and also the prompt to figure out what I’ve been putting off doing and why. (Usually bc it involves talking to someone on the phone.)

As a side note, Logan, I hope you’re doing ok. Not doing or being able to do or even think about doing 1 Thing is usually a sign for me that I’m heading to a bad place depression-wise, so I hope this is not that for you!

aetataureate (#1,310)

@BillfoldMonkey It feels like we’re seeing a slow-motion website divorce between the Billfold and Logan. This is the last regular obligation and it’s still too much.

notpollyanna (#2,841)

@aetataureate Oh no! This makes me sad. I hope that this is not what is happening. I love you, Logan! But also: take care of yourself even if that does mean leaving us.

azile (#6,014)

@aetataureate I’m afraid so. I also love Logan sosososo much <3

saretonin (#4,351)

I Volunteer! I will take the one ring to Mordor write the one thing!

I have lots of things to do, but typically only do one thing a week, and I’d love to tell people about it!

Laurabean (#3,040)

@saretonin I logged in to like this comment and to say that 1 thing saved me $50 once, so clearly it has to stay.

EmilyAnomaly (#4,238)

Every Thursday that rolls around makes me think, “there is probably something I need to do.” I like the one thing posts because they make me feel guilty enough to try to accomplish one thing at the very least.

My one thing is to write and mail birthday cards to my grandma and my pal from college/local TV news.

Please don’t take my 1 Thing away! I love the community of this post and it’s a great reminder for me to do my 1 thing(s).

cawcawphony (#2,990)

I second everything said above, and also add that reading other people’s one things reminds me of one things I need to do. Without these posts my life would be in shambles. SHAMBLES!

ceereelyo (#3,552)

@cawcawphony – yes! I don’t often post my one thing, but I will read everyones and be like OH SHIT I HAVE TO DO THAT TOO!

My one thing this week is to send in my passport name change application. It’s such bunk I have to pay another $110 just to change my name, but I last renewed my passport like three years ago, last time I went to Europe! And I have to do it soon, because my husband finally sent in his application (BOO’s FIRST PASSPORT! can’t believe it) and so I have no excuses.

burdock (#771)

oh goodness. I never comment on the site, I know. But I’ll start commenting on my one thing every week, please don’t take it away from me!

My one thing today was to finish up my state taxes. I did my federal one ages ago but was really dreading sorting out my healthcare forms.

Stina (#686)

@burdock Oh come now it’s a slippery slope. Soon we’ll have you doing estimates and check-ins too.

Cup of T (#2,533)

The people have spoken! Keep one thing! I picked up a passport renewal form AND had my passport photos taken (that’s two things if you’re feeling generous)

lsilva0613 (#5,368)

Every Thursday I always at least *think* about doing my one thing. You should keep it, even if it only makes us think about it.

Today, I did two things! I made a dentist appointment and scheduled a home inspection.

Stina (#686)

Doing our taxes two weeks ago made me realize that I actually do have to pay attention to my non-retirement investment account. Today I looked up the fund and saw what distribution stocks to bonds it was. I was going to switch it to a more aggressive fund but then got the “We report this to the IRS” message. So research on what that will mean is another 1 thing task.

RiffRandell (#4,774)

#Save1Thing! When 1 Thing Thursday (or 1TT as it gets written on a list I have taped to my wall) did not appear as normal today I honestly went from ‘I should repair that broken bra I have laying around!’ To ‘Screw it, packing for a trip is 1 thing, right?’ So basically we need you! I also honesly enjoy watching Logan intend to do the same one thing for several weeks, it is endearing.

manda (#6,108)

I also registered just to say how much I love 1 thing day! I will make a solemn vow to post my one thing each week if the posts stick around. Sometimes I even do 1 *more* thing on other days, too – 1 thing on Thursdays has taken away some of the scariness of doing 1 thing!

punzy (#160)

I really enjoy 1 thing! I get through my day by making a do to list in the morning. As long as I cross off 1 thing I consider the day a success. I also really enjoy Logan’s writing style and this is a good place to see at least a little of it.

Lily Rowan (#70)

OK, so I almost never do 1 Thing on Thursday, but I do always enjoy the Amerie earworm.

calamity (#2,577)

Sometimes I purposefully put off doing dumb tasks JUST SO I can bask in the communal supportiveness of the 1 Thing posts on Thursdays. And your 1 Thing titles can be so great; like a year ago you used a Cat Power lyric, and sometimes I still hum “once I wanted to be the greatest at 1 Thing” on Thursdays when I see the new post is up.

My 1 Thing this week was to finish my taxes; I owe $330ish, unfortunately. The federal government always takes out too little from my paycheck and the state too much, but the state owes me a lot less this year than it has in the past. I guess I’m not poor enough for DC. This is probably appropriate seeing as $330 will not wipe out half my savings, but … still. It’s really irritating to write that big check and then think about how huge businesses who make 1000x what I do literally pay 0 taxes. Why my little law-abiding, worker-bee, government-respecting self???

Haha now you’re going to feel guilty for the rest of time if you don’t continue this. LOOK AT ALL THE PEOPLE YOU’LL BE FAILING

samburger (#5,489)

YES 1 THING MAKES ME FEEL TERRIBLE

do you know how long I have been putting off finding a new dentist??? it has been so many weeks and I feel just terrible about it

sometimes I post here and say I did a thing so I’ll feel better about myself, but it’s never my 1 thing.

Today I opened my Roth IRA and fed it $3,000!!! I am a great person!!!

but really I need to find a dentist

samburger (#5,489)

@samburger WAIT UPON REFLECTION I realize that I don’t ever think about the dentist except when I see 1 thing posts

So you have to keep doing these at least until I find a dentist okay

Beaks (#3,488)

@samburger I found a dentist! Now I just need to, like, call and make an appointment and stuff. Baby steps.

boogers mcgee (#4,474)

NOOOOO DO NOT GET RID OF 1 THING! These posts are the only reason I have done so many Things and if they go away then I will just procrastinate forever and ever and ever. I pretty much need this little bit of accountability to be a productive adult. This is also the exact reason I gave up something for Lent despite having no semblance of religion in my life – incentive!!! Marginal smidgens of liability!

Speaking of being an adult, my Thing *should* be to look for a therapist but no let’s ignore that for a little longer because I’ve been fine for the past 30 years so far (ha ha ha… blerg).

So instead my 1 Thing will be to schedule a meeting with one of the TIAA-CREF advisors visiting my workplace and see if I need to actually do anything to my retirement account.

MMoo (#5,480)

You guys just reminded me that I’ve been putting off my 1 thing for over a month: calling my health insurance company and asking how to submit my receipts from therapy. Every single day I think “this is the day I’m going to call my insurance company even though I’m at work and everyone can hear me and I’m going to basically announce to all of my coworkers via the phone that I go to therapy every week because I have EMOTIONS.” So yes I think it is a useful segment.

gelatinouscube (#4,706)

1 thing: travel back in time and incept logan to keep doing 1 thing: travel back in time and incept logan to keep doing 1 thing:1 thing: travel back in time and incept logan to keep doing 1 thing:1 thing: travel back in time and incept logan to keep doing 1 thing:1 thing: travel back in time and incept logan to keep doing 1 thing:1 thing: travel back in time and incept logan to keep doing 1 thing:1 thing: travel back in time and incept logan to keep doing 1 thing:

readyornot (#816)

I want to add one more to the huge crowd of people asking that the 1 Thing feature stay. I like it for so many reasons. I mean, yes, there are things that I put off doing forever. I don’t know that I could explain to Mike Dang why I put them off. Sometimes I only remember them outside of the 8am to 5pm EST hours when I could take care of them. Sometimes they seem like they’ll be unpleasant. Sometimes they’re lower priority until they’re not.

So it is great to have a workday nudge telling me, maybe it won’t be that bad, maybe it won’t take that long, I will feel so much better when they’re done, along with the accountability and supportive comments from everyone here.

But I also really like when this site’s editors and journalists relate their financial reporting to their own life. Love Meaghan’s posts on stock options, health insurance for her pregnancy and delivery, and approaching her landlord about a refrigerator which is a clone of one in an old apartment of mine.

I like the continuity of the voices, which the personal essays from contributors don’t really provide, and I like the less newsy, more personal touch. So please keep it!

sherlock (#3,599)

@readyornot This is really well put. I think that the Do 1 Thing posts just feel so true to the *personality* of the site, and that’s why people are reacting very strongly here.

I <3 you, Logan.

eagerber (#1,958)

Please don’t go, Logan. My one thing is to beg you to please, please, please, please keep being the 1 Thing lead.

A-Train (#6,113)

I looooove 1 Thing. It’s my motivation to get something done. AND. AND. I was able to encourage my friend to sign up for her company’s ESPP because of 1 Thing.

Please, we need 1 Thing, Logan. And you shouldn’t feel bad about it because YOU are the beacon lighting our path; we rally around 1 Thing because why would I call Verizon and argue about my bill (or, you know, think about doing it) if I didn’t know countless others were groaning their way through similar tasks? That said, make any changes you want to in order to make it easier on you. It is not something you should beat yourself up about though; it has ben perfect as is, because it has been real. <3

Also I would completely take over 1 Thing, or maybe it could be a rotating thing? Like, this week’s 1 Thing by so-and-so? Then there’s not enough time for any self loathing to build up.

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