Monday, March 23, 2009

What's On Your To Do List?

I read an interesting Tweet this morning, "I've got a lot of things to get done this week, I better make a To Do List".

Have you ever noticed that when you really want to get things done - not just say you want to get them done - you create a To Do list? Why is that?

Because it WORKS!!!

Most of us, at one time or another, don't get things done that we had planned to get done. But it's rarely because we were blowing them off or ignoring them, it's usually because we simply forgot about them.

Hence, the invention of the "To Do List" and the little yellow sticky to put it on (boy I wished I would have invested in 3M back then).

You see, I am big on accountability. In fact, I believe, more than anything else "Accountability" is what a coach brings to his clients. But not everyone has, wants or thinks they can afford a coach - so we try to create methods or systems that will help us fulfill our need for accountability on our own. The "To Do List" is a silent piece of accountability that we create to help us face our successes and failures in accomplishing what it is we want to do.

So if they work so well, why don't we use "To Do Lists" for everything that we need or say we want to get done? The answer is as simple as it is obvious - because there are a lot of things that we say we want to do, but really don't want to do or don't know how to do. And we don't want to waste the magic of getting things done on these lower priority items.

What's on your "To Do List" says a lot about YOU. It reveals "what" and "who" are important to you. You can see whether you are focused on changing your circumstances or maintaining the status quo. And at a very basic level, when viewed over a stretch of time, your "To Do List" reflects your Mission, your Vision, and your Commitments in both business and life - because it reflects what you find "most important" in your life.

So as you look at YOUR "To Do List", what do you see? What is most important to you? And does it reflect what you want it to reflect? Are there things that you say are important to you, but aren't quite making it on your list. Why is that?

So, let me re-phrase my initial Title question. Maybe you shouldn't just be looking at what's on your "To Do List" - maybe you should be looking at what's not on your "To Do List".

And WHY!


  1. Must admit, I wouldn't be half as productive without a good to-do list to guide me through the week. As a general rule, I incorporate everything I want to achieve (as well as boring things which just *have* to be done) on the list, with an average weekly list containing 50 things to tick off.

    Some weeks I tick off all 50, others I'm in the high 40s. Usually when that happens, the only things that are left are trivial things anyway!

  2. Thanks for the comment. I'm always excited to hear about stories of people getting done what they set out to get done - each and every week.