Do you write down all of your to-do’s and find that you never complete the list?

Are you one of those people who writes “make list” just so you can cross it off?

I’ve gone through the same issues myself, and I still struggle with them.  But I want to share with you some of the secrets that have helped me get that to-do list done:

  • Do an initial “brain dump” and keep this as your master to-do list, which you’ll add to every day.
    • Write down every to-do in your mind
    • You can have a business list and a personal list or combine them –  whatever works best for you to get the information out of your head
    • Use a beautiful notebook or a task program on your computer to record everything
  • Prioritize your to-do items
    • High, medium, low; 1, 2, 3; A, B, C
    • Assign priorities to different colored highlighters and create a rainbow
    • Use other prioritizing tools, such as Stephen Covey’s quadrants

Illustration of Stephen Covey's Quadrants

  • Schedule your to-do items
    • Schedule them on your paper calendar OR
    • Schedule them on your electronic calendar OR
    • Use a task management system, such as todoist or Asana to schedule due dates
  • Have an accountability partner
    • Choose someone you look up to and respect, because you won’t want to let them down
    • Some business owners create an accountability team that works like a board of directors

Choose one thing (yes, just one) to try from the list above. Implement it consistently for at least one month to begin creating a habit. Feel free to tweak it as much as you need to so it fits your lifestyle. Once that habit is created, you can move on to other things on the list to build additional habits in the same way. Don’t rush yourself, and don’t beat yourself up if something doesn’t work – figure out what works, what doesn’t, and that will indicate the changes that need to be made for your to-do list success.