I have tried everything:
- Sticky notes
- Writing on my hand
- Asking others to hold me accountable
- Project management systems
- Excel documents
And somehow that “To Do” list still seems impossible. After years of struggling and trying one thing after another only to get frustrated I am going to share with you my secret to getting it all DONE! And to make it even more fool proof there is a little download to keep you on track.
Now to make this work, I suggest you do it before you “shut down” for the day. This can be true for work or home or a combo of both, but you have to do it before you go into robo mode. You know what I mean.
Sit down and write down your two most pressing goals – for tomorrow. Not for a week from now, a month from now or 3 months from now. FOR TOMORROW! Make them specific, measurable, attainable and realistic. The time piece is already buttoned up for you – because it will be done tomorrow. For details on how to make your goals SMART, check out this blog post first.
Now if there are smaller tasks you need to complete to accomplish that goal outline them on your handy dandy “daily download”. Don’t go crazy, keep in mind this has to be realistic.
Then once you have your two major (realistic) goals outlined, use the other two spaces for reminders and your nightly brain dump. I am sure many of you have thoughts swirling in your brain. Some of them productive, some of them too hot to handle. Write them down and let it go. Now you can peacefully go about the rest of your evening because you have your game plan for tomorrow set in stone.
Now the secret to making these goals happen…
When you get up, before you do ANYTHING else. I will let you brush your hair and have some breakfast. But before you crack open your email, check your Facebook notifications, take a phone call, take the dog for a walk, deal with screaming children…. Before any of that, you have to COMPLETE goal 1.
This shouldn’t be a crazy task, it should take you between 30 mins and 1 hour. But it was your number one priority for a reason, so do it first. Get it totally done before anything else. Now, if that is all you did and then you checked your email and it was a disaster, at least you already accomplished 50% of your goals for the day.
But to seal the deal you have to promise me something. Set a time, perhaps immediately after lunch, whatever is your personal most productive time frame and block it out. Make that your standing appointment. Communicate that to your boss, your employees or perhaps to your spouse. Outline it as your “I am 100% on an island for this 1 hour daily”. If you haven’t yet completed goal number 2, use this dedicated no email/no internet/no phone time to have a non-distracted second to get number 2 complete!
If you follow this simple process and do it daily, you CAN make your to do list DONE every single day! How amazing would it be to accomplish your goals everyday? And then everything else you complete that day is just icing on the cake.