Monday, December 6, 2010

More on the importance of a well-constructed and utilized to do list

This is an article that I thought you would enjoy reading in addition to what I have written on this subject in a previous post titled ‘How to maximize your To-Do list’. It is written by Tony Mase, reprinted here with permission. I read his newsletters regularly. Here’s Tony:
The TOP 7 To-Do List Mistakes People Make
- by Tony Mase

© Tony Mase - All Rights Reserved

A well-constructed and properly utilized to-do list is a great first step in becoming a person of action, a doer who gets things done and, as a result, gets what they want in life. However, if you make any one of a number of critical mistakes, your to-do list may do more harm than good...

Here are the top seven to-do list mistakes people make:

To-Do List Mistake #1 - They Don't Have Any List at All
Many people begin their day without the slightest clue as to what they want to get done that day and thus, quickly mired in interruptions and trivia, they get little, if anything, of significance accomplished. My advice? If getting what you want in life is important to you, don't you be one of them!

To-Do List Mistake #2 - Their List Isn't Written Down
Some people feel they can easily keep their list in their head and don't feel the need to write it down. However, personally, I find that a huge waste of "memory" that would much better be used for producing constructive results.

To-Do List Mistake #3 - They Have Too Many Lists
Many people have a list for home, a list for work, a list for each of the different activities they're involved in, a list for each of the people they're associated with, along with any one of a number of other lists. Too many lists lead to confusion and confusion breeds inactivity. Keep it simple. Have one daily list and one daily list only.

To-Do List Mistake #4 - Their List Is Too Long
I limit my daily list to two items. Any more and I start the day feeling overwhelmed and, if I don't finish them all, end the day feeling "behind the eight-ball". I'd rather start the day with two items on my list, get them done, add more to the list as the day goes on, and get them done as well than start the day with twenty and end it with eighteen of them undone.

To-Do List Mistake #5 - Their List Is Too Complex
Too complex in that it contains items that may take days, weeks, or even months to complete. I've found that by breaking "big", often overwhelming, tasks into "small", easily actionable, tasks that can be done in just a few minutes and by putting these items on my daily list instead, I develop a momentum that allows me to plow through major projects far faster than I could by attempting the whole at once.

To-Do List Mistake #6 - Their List Lacks Priorities
If you start your day with the question, "Which of these items should I do first?", guess what you'll spend the majority of your day doing? You got it! Trying to decide which of those items you should do first. Need I say more?

To-Do List Mistake #7 - Their List Isn't Visible and/or They're Not Using It
In order to be effective, your to-do list needs to be where you can easily see it, when you need to see it, and, you need to refer to it frequently throughout the day.

These, in my opinion, are the top seven to-do list mistakes people make. Are you making one or more of them? If so, what are you going to do about it? Your answer to that question and your resulting action or lack thereof may well spell the difference between your getting what you want in life and your not getting what you want in life.

Tony Mase is a serious student of the works of Wallace D. Wattles and the publisher of "The Personal Power Course: Ten Lessons in Constructive Science, Teaching You How to Use Your Own Subconscious Energies for Health, Prosperity and Personal Achievement" ebook by Wallace D. Wattles...

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P.S. This article is also posted on my blog, "Constructive Science: A Blog Dedicated to the Scientific Writings of Wallace D. Wattles". You can read it online and/or comment on it by going to:

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