Today was all about the To-Do List.
As usual, my day started with forcing three of my four teens out of bed for their final exams, while I rushed to get ready for a much anticipated 9am business meeting.
I arrived a few minutes past 9am (Not, bad! See upcoming Punctuality blog!), to a hot cup of soothing green tea, and eagerly greeted my dear friend and business mentor. In her chicly-appointed office suite, we exchanged updates on the progress of my startup boutique women’s wellness practice and the exciting developments of enhancing client services within her very successful financial firm.
It wasn’t long before our comfortable catch-up quickly morphed into commiseration over the daunting, never-ending to-do list. Or in my case, my MANY to-do lists. I started right in on the numerous variations, formats and locations of my duplicate to-do lists. There is my iPhone Notes to-do list, my iPhone Reminder to-do list, my Word Doc to-do list, and my most prized and colorful assortment of Sticky Note to-dos, strategically scattered everywhere from my bathroom mirror to the dashboard of my car!
We laughed as she searched for her favorite, more tech-savvy, favorite… the “Don’t Forget the Milk” app, which she proudly displayed on her smartphone. I was awestruck! Here was an app that would take ALL of my many to-do list, merge, automate and allow wireless sharing too! How brilliant! I couldn’t wait to dig deeper!
Naturally, I discovered a multitude of to-d0 list apps, many of them free of charge! I found myself in a glorious sea of tech options, unable to decide which app would best suit my needs! And in the process, I realized that I was actually ignoring all of the things on my living, breathing to-do list!
Panic set in! I needed to get to work chipping away at that thing right away! I opened the very lengthy WordDoc version of my to-do list. Overwhelmed, I immediately recalled a recent conversation with another dear friend and successful business coach. Her response to the paralysis that my never-shrinking to-do list had caused that particular day, was for me to take the most fun task and tackle only that one. “Just for today”, she said, “forget about all of the pressing, urgent, time sensitive tasks. Just the most FUN task!” And I did! I sent follow-up emails to my professional and community network contacts. And it was fun! Well, relatively speaking. The greatest reward, however, was checking at least one thing off of my list that day. Winner!
But back to the day at hand. I still had a plethora of things left on my list, and, none of them qualified remotely as “fun”. This ‘fun” approach was in no way sustainable! Was there another back-up approach?
Then came the strangest recollection of the One-A-Day vitamin. I immediately thought, “Ah-ha, 3-A-day!” Then and there, I decided that there would be three things….only 3……. which I would expect to check off today, and hopefully everyday. I ceased my research and got to work. Sure enough, I was easily able to check off 3 things!
- Completed my logo design. Check.
- Redesigned my business cards. Check.
- Completed an important administrative document. Check. 3-A-Day done!
Now, whether or not I decide to move all of my lists into one cool tech app, or whether I continue with my current, wacky system, I will stick to my new found mantra of “3-A-day”. No matter what, my goal will be to accomplish just three items a day.
That day in my friends office, she mentioned that she has somewhere in the ballpark of 90 items on her to do list! I briefly wondered, “just how many 3-A-days will it take for me to complete my list?” No matter. I have no intention of counting past three anyway!
Using the 3-A-Day process, how many days would it take for you to whittle down, or may even clear YOUR to-do list? Never mind. It doesn’t matter! Just stick to 3-A-Day, and who knows, you may actually have fun checking items off of your to-do-list.
Best in health,