Stop using your to-do list? Are you CRAZY?!?
“I want to get more freedom of time… I just don’t have the time to do it!” Quote from a recent new client.
“There are two people inside me”, another new client complained one morning. “One who wants to get everything done on my to-do list and the other who knows that half the stuff on that list is a waste of time!”
Another client: “I love that feeling of getting everything on my list done! I wish I had that feeling every day. But I don’t. It feels like a fantasy to have that level of freedom and I just deny myself that.”
Then there is the mom client – “My kids come first. But boy… I do glance at my to-do list every once in a while and wish I could just keep my eyes and my attention ONLY on my loved ones when I have them.”
I feel for them – my new clients. These people come to see me because they are suffering from a lack of real freedom that they desire more than anything else – the desire for free time – time where they can authentically choose to work, play, be with loved ones or roam freely and spontaneously in their day.
Let Freedom of Time Ring!
But first… there are a couple of things to do:
1. Take Stock and Get Perspective
The hardest part is to start – i.e. start taking positive steps towards true freedom of time.
This is due to the chicken vs. egg thinking – “I want to get more freedom of time.. I just don’t have the time to do it!”
The easiest step to take is to make a list of all the things on your mind.
Just writing this list will start putting things into perspective and help ‘get you out of your head’.
HINT: Do this now.
2. Create High Awareness Around Priorities
Notice which things on the list are a high priority and how much emotional attachment you may have to some of the things on the list. Put a star against each item on the list that has emotional attachment more than real usefulness to you.
3. Start to Stop the Blame
Notice two things:
- How much guilt vs. true need is driving the things that you put on your list.
- How much guilt you put on yourself vs. how much these items on the list serve you or nurture you or your business.
4. Gain High Leverage – Stop Using Your To-Do List
Now, I know some of you really like your to-do list and I would not dream of asking you to stop doing that if it is working for you.
I have not had a to-do list for more than 15 years. Yes! It is true! It is possible. And I get more done in a day than most other business people.
I also have way more free time than most business people – about 20 to 30 hours per week – a lot of these times are large blocks of time.
I don’t think of myself as perfect and when I first started managing myself more effectively, I struggled like a lot of people out there.
The first thing I did was to eradicate my to do list.
The reasons were simple:
- I spent more time worrying and managing that list than actually getting anything really done.
- The list became like a haunting demon – a source of a repressive addiction – I had to look at it every few minutes; I had to worry about it like a doting mother; I had to think it through and I HAD to reduce the list as quickly as possible.
- The list was not growing shorter but seemed to grow every day, week, and month – there were items on that list from years ago.
- This took away from the true joy of being present in the moment – each moment of my business – with my clients, with my team, and with the projects at hand.
The to-do list was becoming a distraction especially when my business grew and became more complex.
I knew I had to change this if I wanted to continue to be in business and keep my sanity.
I gave you some of the first steps I did above. How did I get rid of my to-do list?
Please share in the comments section below how you were able to eradicate your to-do list!
Since 1991, I’ve been reflecting on, designing, and implementing methodologies and systems for bringing a transcendent, creative and innovative approach to critical aspects of entrepreneurship.