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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Want to Get it Done? Get it OFF the To-Do List

Often, a business owner client will come to a conversation with me, to-do list in hand (or on PDA) and with reasons why its contents are still there, unchecked and uncompleted. Other activities, scheduled appointments and deadline-responsibilities got in the way, they’ll tell me. But, they say, “I’m holding onto the list ’til they’re all ‘checked off’”.

What do you think? Will they get checked off or just get grubby and unrecognizable with each daily transfer to a new list?

I say – trash that to-do list! Get your dreams, big ideas, random thoughts, intentions, plans and desires onto your schedule of events – with a specific time and increment of time. Treat these with the same respect you treat appointments with other people. I find this is an excellent tool for 2 reasons:

- first, it gets items that are on the back burner (the to-do items which, in reality, are back-burnered in our minds because they didn’t make the schedule) into the forefront of a brain;

- secondly, because it often makes you realize you’ve scheduled events or responsibilities for far more than is humanly possible, thereby adding mega stress.

This is when, finally, some will realize that effective delegation is the key to ‘getting it all done – just not all done by me‘. And that’s a huge realization for a successful business owner to make: yes, it probably all needs to get done, but not done by you! Think about how you’re spending your time; that is: ’spending’ as in ‘letting the bucks flow out of your pocket’ and into tasks. Probably tasks that others, probably who make less money than you, would love to do because it would represent a shift up for them; a sign of enhanced trust, responsibility and ability to contribute (and don’t kid yourself: the desire to contribute and be acknowledged for it is a huge motivator for your employees). Figuring out just what’s best to delegate and to whom is why I created the “30 Day Challenge to More Free Time”; you may want to review it to help you right here

S0 – get rid of the to-do list; get it all on a single calendar or schedule and enjoy the eye-opening experience of discovering just where you’re placing priorities and spending your precious energy.

1 comment:

Sharon Page said...

Andrea,
Great article...very insightful that our to do lists are really items we've put onto the back burner.
Thanks.