Day 8: Apples, Oranges and Grapes

8. Keep three lists of three. The first list has three things you will do today. The second is three things you’d like to get done, but aren’t essential. The third is three things that need to be done at some point. That way, when you’ve trogged through your days work, you don’t end up sitting twiddling your thumbs.

First, I would like to say that I don’t think I have twiddled my thumbs since I started my own business. In fact, I think the only time I have twiddled my thumbs is when I was working for someone else and I was waiting for a decision. (That topic is for a much later blog).

 In my former life as a project manager, I always had several list of things to do. Each list pertained to each project I was working on plus a non-billable list. I love lists. And from what I have seen, most people who are disorganized hate lists. Lists are just another thing to lose, I get that, really I do. But there is power in lists, because the more that is written down, the less brain mass you are taking up trying to keep things straight. The brain is a muscle. Don’t you think you should let it exercise on an activity more than just juggling? What innovation is not being birthed because you are trying to remember to pick up the dry cleaning?

Does it have to be three? Can it be four? How about eight? I don’t think it HAS to be three it is just that three seems to work. (By the way, the number 3 is a very balanced number. Think about all the things that come in three’s.) The point is it shouldn’t be one. One “to do list” is setting you up for failure. Have you made a list in the past with only the most important task listed on the top? I haven’t. The ideas come in spurts, so you write them down as you think about them. Next thing you know you have a very long list and very little time to do anything. And you start at the top of the list!!! Cleaning out the dryer vent was the first thing you thought of, but is it the most important thing you have to do today?

Does it have to be “Today, Tomorrow and Next Week”? No, it could be A, B, and C or apples, oranges and grapes. Or it could be the names of the family…..The names could go on. What works for you?

I just got done work with a client who had six different jobs under his job title of Director of Sports and Fitness!!! I suggested that we create six different folders for him. Then he could separate as he went all the little pieces of paper throughout the day. And when he had time to stop and focus, what he needed for each of the many hats he wore would be at is finger tip. (By the way, lists come in different forms depending your personal needs.) Try a system, if it doesn’t work, try another. Keep trying until something works. You can’t stop trying.

Day 8 of what? Check out my post “30 Day Challenge” to read the answer.

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