Keeping a to-do list keeps me focused. I would be a mess without my to-do list. Following are my strategies for creating and maintaining a meaningful to-do list. This singular practice has changed my life!
We’re not talking about a regular to-do list. This is a specific list that will help you focus your energy and manage your time so that you can build the life you want! The to-do list will help you reach your goals, to feel relaxed, be less stressed, less anxious and less overwhelmed. You will have peace of mind knowing that you are headed in the right direction and that you haven’t forgotten anything you were supposed to do!
All you need is a list. That’s your focus.
Here are the five essential steps to building and maintaining the ultimate to-do list. If you follow these steps consistently your life will change. I promise. But you have to do them all and you have to commit to making it a habit. Are you ready?
1. Make your to-do list at the same time every day.
I make mine at 6 a.m. every morning, after my miracle morning routine and while everyone is still sleeping and before I tackle the morning rush of getting everyone out the door for school and work. The time you make the list has to be non-negotiable. If I waited until later, I would be distracted by phone calls or other people’s needs. A news story might catch my attention or I might get involved in a conversation. No. The list-making most occur at the same time every day and become as much a part of your routine as having your coffee.
2. Make your to-do list in the same place every day.
I know most of us have made to-do lists before. We put them on post-it notes or in our calendars. They are on scraps of paper, the backs of envelopes. This doesn’t work. The to-do list needs to be easy to find and accessible!
3. Keep your list with you at all times.
I am going to suggest that you use your smart phone to manage your to-do list. When are you ever without your phone?
Absolutely everything I need to do goes on my list. There is nothing too big or too small. If I need to call someone back, it goes on my list. Return a dress, on the list. Put the people you need to connect with on the list. If there is someone you wanted to get to know better, or a call you had been meaning to make, put that on your list. Use the list to make yourself the kind of person you want to be. It’s a prescription for success.
4. You need to put three small steps that will move you forward on your list every day.
This is a critical piece of the to-do list.
Think about what you want to achieve in life. Don’t put them on a vision board and hope that they materialize. Make continual progress towards the realization of your dreams. You need a strategy and it doesn’t have to be huge. Know where you are headed and take small but meaningful steps to get there. Connect with a mentor, take the next step in achieving a goal, make a call you are afraid to make, sign up for that course, build the website, get started on your social media campaign – and then break these goals into small do-able steps that you can achieve today! There is no reason to wait – do it now. Action will get results.
5. Review and revisit the list.
You have heard about positive thinking and how our thoughts create our reality. This is a way to cultivate positive and meaningful thoughts. At the end of the week, you have made 21 small steps towards your bigger life-goals. Your life is in order, the kids permission slips were signed and returned to the teachers on time. You called back the clients who had questions. You are not out of milk. It’s easy to see how good things are when you have a written record. You are making progress towards huge life-changing goals as well as meeting the requirements of every-day life. Take a minute to reflect on your progress and to see yourself as actively changing your life every day. Talk about power! You have amazing resources of power because you are taking action!
I know I don’t need to tell you this – but you can start right now! Get out your phone and begin. Keep it up until it’s long enough to be a habit and you won’t believe the results!