I have always prided myself in being a list-maker.
I come from a long line of list-making women and baby, we are efficient.
List-makers get stuff done.
List-makers make the world go round!
I used to get A’s in my elementary school grade card on “uses time wisely”. I was already “listing” in my head as a grade schooler.
By now we all know that studies show when we put things down on paper, the chances of it happening are like a bazillion (who needs exact numbers really??) times higher than if we just try to remember to do it. And so I have faithfully, faithfully kept a day planner (don’t’ stone me for the ancient system, it works for me) for over 20 years. First thing in the morning, I am examining my list. Because my entire day is on that list. My week is on my list. My shopping goes on a list. My to-do’s are on a list. I don’t deviate from the list because lists are my THING, ok?
So recently, I was shocked when I had a HUGE ah-ha moment. It kind of threw my list-making pride for a loop.
I found that my sense of accomplishment was coming from the NUMBER of items I was checking off my list daily, rather than me being able to check off the things that were the MOST IMPORTANT. Are you following me?
I wasn’t PRIORITIZING my checklist in the morning. I was just looking to mark the most number of things off of the list as quickly as possible. So when I was checking off go to bank, call paint store, pick up this, do that…. I was feeling good about myself because the list WAS DWINDLING. Check. Check. Check. Check. Checks feel gooooooooood.
But the big things, the important things on my list were consistently being left undone. I would just move that task from one day to the next. And the next day, I would go over my list in the morning and proceed thru my day by checking off 15 no brainer, little things. But yet that one BIG thing was still there looming. And the next day, same thing. That one thing….that one thing for me that was BIG and HARD and DAUNTING and IMPORTANT for the direction I was taking my business, that one thing was being left untouched. Because I wasn’t giving it priority.
Subconsciously, I think that was my way of avoiding the scary stuff. Self protection if you will.
Until finally I had a hand-to-the-forehead moment. Getting that one scary thing done was wayyyyyyy more important than ALL the other things on my list combined. I could even have someone else do the other things, but no one but me could do the big thing. It HAD to be done. And once it was, I felt more accomplished. More brave. More intentional with my time.
And so now in the mornings, as I examine my list…. I PRIORITIZE first thing. I decide what 1 or 2 potential income generating tasks MUST be done for the day. I prioritize before I check things off. And it was awkward at first, but my business is now reaping the rewards.
Finally, I pushed through some hard stuff.
Finally, I persevered thru some scary stuff.
Finally, I made headway baby.
Because PRIORITIZING my checks trumps the quantity of my checked items.
And so if you are a list-maker, first of all I want to say I love you. You is good people. But let me ask you, is there ONE thing…. ONE thing that you are unknowingly avoiding because it’s just easier to do the other stuff?
If so, prioritize it first thing during your work day.
Give it the utmost respect.
Slay that dragon baby. Especially if it has the ability to change your life (see funny graphic above).
I felt sooooo much better when I did.
And guess what? Because I finally pressed through that hard stuff, YOU guys have some cool stuff coming your way from me. See cuz’ sometimes our lists are not just about US and OUR life. Others need us to do the hard stuff too.
So, I can’t wait to share more. Details coming soon.
Until then, list-makers unite.
When I read this yesterday, it really hit home. This is one of those principles you just inherently know and sometimes are even conscious that your guilty. But when you see your ‘fault’ just flat staring you in the face on the computer screen you realize “I better get busy tackling some of those monthly “swept under the carpet tasks” and DO SO TODAY! Some have been hanging around FAR TOO LONG! I tackled one the Biggies starting this morning . . . didn’t get the matter resolved but at least I’ve opened the can of worms and am working on it. Sometimes we just need that kick in the backside.