Do you use To-Do Lists? Stop and stop now. If your to-do list is really a busy list, you are in trouble. Honestly, I have a to-do list, but it does not exist on its own.
We can keep ourselves busy all day long. We put items on a list out of routine, because we believe they are important or need to get done but do they really make a difference?
Is your to-do list connected to your vision of success? Does everything on that list help you achieve a goal that relates to your vision? If so, you are headed in the right direction. Are you asking yourself, “What’s a vision? I don’t have a vision.”, you are busy doing and not creating anything that will make your life or your work better.
An alternative way, a way that creates the life and the work you desire is to start there. Take the time to stop, reflect and write your vision for the life you desire including your work. Write your vision in detail so that you are clear exactly where you are headed and what you are creating.
Once you have your vision, then take out that to do list and tear it up. Create a new one. At the top, start with actions you can take today to move closer to your vision. Be thoughtful. Be strategic. Consider actions that support your personal and professional vision.
Of course, you will have other items on your list that are urgent for one reason or another. Be selective about what you consider urgent. Urgent from your perspective or someone else’s version of urgent. Actions to achieve our vision are the most important actions we can take. They are also not urgent, so tend to get put off and never get onto our to-do list. We live day to day rather than moving every day toward the life we desire.
Start a new to-do list with actions that help you achieve your vision then stop. Do not make time for things that fill your time. Do not make time for busy time wasters, i.e. starting with email and spending too much time here. As an example, breeze through your email inbox for items that will help you to achieve your vision. Also look for any urgent items. The rest are time wasters and success killers. Before you put something on your list, ask yourself, “How will this help me achieve my vision? Is this a distraction? Why am I spending my time doing this?” There may be a worthwhile reason but asking the tough questions will help you get where you are going and sooner than you expect.
With your new to-do list in hand, start with the most important actions you can take to move toward your vision. Work on those items first. Spend most of your time here. Each step makes a difference. Keep your vision in mind. Live it every day. Know what is important in your life and focus on that. Change from a busy to-do list to taking actions that achieve the life you desire.