What does your to-do list look like?
I just added a book to mine. Admittedly, I did not just add it; it has been there a while. I just cannot get to it. More realistically, I don’t make the time to get to it.
Let’s get real honest.
My list includes lots of other things of varying import from ziplining to a trip in June to Ireland to working on my latest social media campaign to polishing my Photoshop skills to making a quilt for my niece who graduates from high school in May to …. Lots of business and personal goals.
How about yours?
If your list looks as lengthy and varied as mine, where do you start? Here are some ideas.
The Master List
Get it out of your head by creating a master list.
You’ve got all the ideas running around in your head. If you are anything like me, you’re afraid you’ll forget them so you try to remember them. And, the last thing you need are little Post-it™ Brand stickies everywhere.
One of my takeaways from reading Getting Things Done by David Allen is that by trying to remember everything, I was cluttering up the rest of my thoughts. In essence, I was slowing down all my work. If I wrote any idea I had down somewhere all I had to remember was where I wrote it down.
It seems simple enough.
For me, that master list is in a notebook behind a tab called “Someday List.” As soon as I get an idea or thought I don’t want to forget, I will add it to this sheet of paper.
Now it’s out of head, and my brain was clear to focus on one specific thing.
And, I always know where to look for my ideas.
I periodically add to this list. If the idea moves to more of an active project, I can always create a separate tab and keep a sheet of paper for that idea. Again, as ideas come to me for that project, I know where to write them down, so they don’t clutter my mind.
It is a big deal to get it down on paper and out of my head.
Prioritize that list
You have a master list and the next thing to do is to prioritize it. You can do this once or on a regular schedule.
How do you prioritize all those great ideas? These are the questions I’d ask:
- What will make the biggest impact in your business?
- What can be done the quickest amount of time with the least effort?
- What really makes your heart sing?
It does not really matter which one you choose. Just choose one.
Chunk it down.
By that I mean … determining what action steps are needed to complete the project/idea.
And, no, you might not know all of them, but you do know the first few.
If you are not a linear thinker, use mind mapping for this part.
To mind-map, start with a center circle where you write the project name. Then create a series of circles out from the main circle where you will divide the goal into the big groups of tasks you know need to get done. Then you add spokes out from each small circle where you will write smaller tasks. It lets you picture the whole project, both in the big picture and in the little details. It makes it not so “big.”
Just do it!
Once you’ve got an idea of what your project looks like and the next few steps, it’s time to get started.
Look at your calendar and see where you have time to schedule one of these small actions. You are not tackling the whole project, just one small bit of it.
Surely you can find time for one action.
Set a deadline. Deadlines will offer a sense of urgency for your project. They will also help to keep you on track.
It’s your turn!
What would you be able to accomplish if you just chunked it down and started?