A goal is a dream with a deadline ~Napoleon Hill
Many people have great ideas and very few do anything with them. Ideas are an energy, but like electricity, energy doesn’t do anything useful unless it has a conduit to focus it to complete a task. Unless dreams/ideas are wrapped in the conduit of a to-do list, not much happens with them because the energy is scattered- not focused.
This becomes even more vital for those who are doing work at home, or are attempting to balance parenthood and a career as a freelancer or other home-based business. It’s easy to get distracted by chores, kids, partners and their need to be loved, entertained, and cared for. However, without balance nothing gets done. Enter the to do list.
Write out all that comes to mind when you ask “What needs to be done today?”. It can become an extensive list. Now go through the list again asking “What are the consequences of this item?” Meaning, if it doesn’t get done today what would happen? Some things hold little consequence like a chore that doesn’t happen, some holds great consequence like not making an important business call when the client is expecting you to. Write these high consequence items on a small magnetic dry erase board and place them somewhere you go to get distracted–say the refrigerator–if it is a work environment, place it in line of sight. Write the top five things that need to happen on the dry erase board and remove each task as it is done. Make sure this top five happens every day. If it absolutely can’t happen –extenuating circumstances–add it to the top of tomorrow’s list and get it done. This feeling of accomplishment encourages more accomplishment. Especially for long projects and for chores like dishes and laundry that are eternal, it feels good to be done, at least for now :)
By structuring the day into the conduit of a to-do list, with consequences and deadlines things get done. There will still be occasion to look back at the end of the week and say “Where the heck did that week go?” Only with a to-do list done, that feeling comes with a sense of satisfaction about all that was accomplished during that time.