Proven 4-Step Formula to Stop Using Your To-Do List

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.

Stop using your to-do list? Are you CRAZY?!? Nope. Here’s what to do instead. #productivity #business

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:

  1. How much guilt vs. true need is driving the things that you put on your list.
  2. 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!

If you need help, contact me or follow me on LinkedIn.

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