For all of you procrastinating, I’ll-do-it-later, just-leave-me-alone people who are trying to find a way to become productive in your own life -- and a more organized member of your family-- perhaps I have the answer you’ve been waiting for.
Write down all the important things you need to do today.
Now, I can hear you thinking, “Whoa, hold on there. Don’t you think that’s a little too simple? I mean, lists? Come on, I thought you were going to give me a life-changing idea.”
But, I have. See, if you’re anything like me, I feel productive when I’ve accomplish something worthwhile to myself; something I place value in doing. I understand that this is subjective; that accomplishing something “worthwhile” for some is climbing Mt. Everest and for others, like me, it’s just getting on the treadmill for twenty minutes. But God gives us a certain amount of hours per day, and if we end that day without an accomplished goal, what exactly did we do with our time? Did we waste our time or spend it wisely?
The thing about lists is that they are the “to-do” not only for the day, but also for our future. By writing out what we need to do daily (wash the car, go to the gym, read two chapters of book) our goals are clear. We accomplish much, rather than wasting it doing frivolous and often-inconsequential things like checking our Facebook friends or staring endlessly into opened refrigerators.
Seeing your “to-dos” in front of you reminds you to check those things off until you’re done, and even possibly, make us feel a little guilty if we don’t.
To be honest, I didn’t believe in all this list “stuff” either. I saw my sister doing it and thought she was bonkers. But when I decided to do it for one day, I was amazed. I not only finished everything -- because suddenly it forced me to accomplish things rather than twiddle by thumbs -- but found myself irrevocably proud of what I’d done. If I could do this for one day, what would happen if I wrote a list out every day? What amazing things would I be able to achieve if I wrote out a list all the time?
Let’s get one thing straight though: lists don’t define you. Obviously, we don’t have to follow them to a T to be successful. But it’s a guide; a map to remind you where you are and where you want to go. A simple list, one with a few relevant “to-dos” that you can cross off when completed, (yes, this is very satisfying) is something you have to try once.
Lists are like a stepping-stone that help us reach our peak productivity because it forces us to figure out what’s important, and what’s not.
It’s a very simple concept. But this concept has the possibility to change your life for good. And who doesn’t need a good dose of change every now and then? Let me know how this works for you. Did you accomplish more with a list? Or, if it didn’t do a thing for you, why? Forward this to friends who you think need help (or those who don't, but just love sticky notes.) Tell me about it, and maybe we can all help each other become productive.