11/05/2007

Creating an effective To-do list


The to do list is a shining example of how much we love to complete a myriad of seemingly important activities that make us feel as important as a bride on her wedding day. The more items we are able to cross off our prized list, the better. The longer the list, the more tasks we can eliminate, and the greater we feel about our accomplishment. Day after day we compile our trusty collection of "things" to do and work feverishly on them, hoping to create some type of daily satisfaction from every scratched item listed.

My completed to do lists were so valuable to me that I kept a stack of past lists and reviewed them from time to time. I would thumb through the lists and relish at how many "things" I had completed in the past day, week, or month. Yes sir, I had, in my possession, written documentation of how productive I was and I was proud of it.
The other day, while at a meeting of other like minded people, I received an insight that forever changed the way I think about to-do lists. The person heading the meeting made a profound statement to the group. His words hit me like a ton on bricks. His words deflated the trust that placed in the mighty to-do list.

The gentleman explained the differences between extraordinary people and those who are not so extraordinary. One major distinction lay in their to-do list. Your to-do list is where you place your focus. Whatever you focus on expands. Extraordinary people focus on results. Those who are not, focus on activities. Sometimes, when we focus on activities, we think we will get the same results but that is often not the case. Sometimes, our to do list serve to keep us busy and stagnant, must like a person in on a treadmill. Your are still running, but are you getting anywhere?

From this day forward, your to-do list is no longer a to-do list. Today your list is now an action plan. An action plan consists of actions that you take which bring you that much closer to the results you want. Before creating your daily action plans, think of the results you want to obtain. Think long and hard until you are certain and have a clear
picture of what you wish to accomplish. Extraordinary people focus on results. As they plan their steps based on the end result, they bring themselves closer to what they want to achieve every single day. The more focused they are on reaching their desired outcome, the more extra-ordinary they become. Today is the day that you no longer write down things to do for the sake of having a written list of things to do. You no longer have "things" to do, you have actions to take. Those actions will propel you forward faster than anything else you can do to have what you desire. Those actions are the salvation you have been seeking on your personal development journey. Those actions will create results that will define your new reality.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great ideas.
Here is an excellent article on how to write and use an effective to do list - it is also useful advice. It is all very good to get things on your list, but sometimes we don't know what to do with the stuff once we have got it on our list!
http://simplerthanyouthink.blogspot.com/2009/01/manageing-sucessful-to-do-list.html

Jeff Moore said...

This is very informative. You did a great job letting your reders know how they can be more effective. I thought they may also want to read more on the topic http://www.topsuccesssite.com/2011/02/13/how-to-create-the-most-effective-to-do-list/. I want to thank you for the great information!

Jeff

Jeff said...

Again great work and very informative. Additonal information on this topic can be found on www.topsuccesssite.com