Back in February, I wrote a post on how to escape to do list hell.
I was talking to my friend over dinner recently and he mentioned that he had nothing on his to-do list.
He had completed the last task that morning.
Before I get into this post, it’s probably a good time to mention my friend is not a blogger.
As many bloggers will attest, there is always something on the blogger’s to-do list. We are always trying new things, updating our design and adding new content.
But back to my friend.
I was stunned by his admission. Flabbergasted even.
He had nothing on his to-do list. He had done everything on both his work list and his personal one.
Usually, we complete everything on our work list, only to find we fall behind on our personal list.
He had done everything. I’ll be honest my first thought was – is that even possible?
Over dinner, we talked about how he had made this happen.
Here are the four key factors that helped my friend master his to-do list (that might just help you with yours as well.)
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My friend is working casual hours at the moment.
When he does go to the office, he works some ridiculously long hours but then he might have a long stretch of time off.
This gives him the space to get all of those niggling errands done that can be time-consuming and involve a lot of running around.
My friend is doing quite well for himself financially.
He doesn’t need to save to buy something or put off paying a bill so that he can accommodate something else.
If he wants something he just goes out and buys it.
If something needs doing at home, he can afford to pay someone to do the work or fix it himself with the tools he already has.
My friend is a person who gets the job done. He doesn’t procrastinate.
He is an action taker. A doer.
I’m not sure if my friend writes down physical lists (I will definitely ask him about that when I see him next) or if he keeps it all filed in his head, so to speak.
One thing I do know is that he has a clear picture of exactly what needs to be done.
He has clarity on what tasks he needs to complete. It is important to point out he would also know why completing a particular task is important.
So what about you?
Have you completed everything on your current to-do list?
Most likely the answer is no, though if it’s a yes I would love to hear from you in the comments section on how you went about it! Perhaps you take a different approach, in which case I would love to hear from you.
If your answer was no, then my question is which of these factors do you need to work on to make a significant impact on your productivity?
The good news is three of these factors (time, motivation and clarity) are within our control.
I’m not saying they are easy, merely within our control.
Admittedly, money is the slightly more difficult beast.
Some problems can be fixed by throwing money at them. We know that to be true. Of course, you need to have the money to throw at a problem or task in the first place.
Other things can’t be fixed by money. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of having to get in and do the hard work yourself.
It can also be a matter of mindset.
You might be thinking, I need help with all four.
In fact, that might be true which can feel a bit overwhelming. My advice, at least in the beginning, is to pick one.
Pick the one that will have the most impact and work on it.
Say for instance time is your issue. Clear some time in your schedule. If you have a partner and children that might be difficult and involve some juggling, but it is worth the effort.
The interesting thing is the three controllable factors work together once you get some synergy going.
If you have the time and clarity on what needs to be done, you will have more motivation to get started and see the task through to completion.
If you have the motivation and clarity, you will find the time.
When you have the time, motivation and clarity your efforts may bring more money your way as well. Which one do you specifically need to work on?
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Okay, so this was interesting Thea…
Being a blogger and a business owner you can imagine the things that are on my to do list. Daily activities that need to be achieved and even goals set that I am working towards.
Personally I remain a work in progress so I can’t really say everything is marked off my list. Just when I think I’ve mastered a certain area something else crops up that I didn’t know still needed work. I just continue to study, read, listen to audios and speak with encouraging friends who are always teaching me something new.
I think it would be safe to say that there will always be things on my to do list mainly because I’m just never satisfied… 🙂
Lovely to see you again!!! Apologies for my late reply (for some reason this week just got away from me).
I think it is great that you are a work in progress because you are always learning. That is fantastic!
I totally agree with you about a blogger and business owner always adding things to their list. I keep an A4 book next to my laptop and I am constantly writing down ideas, things to do or things I would like to read and perhaps take action on. It is an endless stream of thoughts and actions which I believe helps with my creativity in the end.
Great to chat to you again Adrienne, I look forward to catching up again soon.
So true. Something small I have done is that I have resolved myself to giving my shirts to the dry cleaner. There are a lot more important things for me to do than ironing.
Still need to work on doing first things first when they are not the most fun tasks to do…
Lovely to see you here again. Sorry for the late reply, not sure how but this week somehow got away from me
Good idea on the dry cleaner. Ironing (other than being time consuming) is also one of my pet hates so I think it is a brilliant idea! There is always something more important to do than ironing.
I hear you on the doing the first things first. I am still guilty of that one myself.
Look forward to seeing you here again. Just wondering Carine – how is the beautiful Sophie doing?