Managing your to-do list4 min read

Would you like to know how to properly manage your to-do list? I’m sure the answer is yes for a lot of you. I’m going to share with you some quick key pointers to make managing your to-do list a lot easier. 

Number one, do a brain dump on paper. Get everything you need to do on paper. Jim Rohn, one of the great speakers of our time, said, “Your brain is not a filing cabinet.” If you are trying to keep everything up in your brain, you are most likely not succeeding. You’re not leaving any room for new ideas to come in. You are clogging your brain with a lot of stuff which creates overwhelm. So, take your to-do list from your brain and put it on paper. 

The next thing you do is when you have all the different things you need to do, circle the two most important that need to be done first. That’s it. Circle the top two. Then immediately apply the WIN formula. And the WIN formula is “What’s Important Now”? Ask yourself, of those top two, what’s most important? Put an asterisk next to that one, and that’s the immediate item you take action on. And when you complete that task, again you can circle the top two, and you go through the same process. 

One of the things I do with my to-do list is I don’t just write a line through it, or check it off. That’s uninspiring. I grab a green Sharpie and write victory with an exclamation point. Because when you accomplish something, it’s a victory. Writing victory with a green marker versus just crossing it off with a black pen is a lot more inspiring. You felt like you’ve accomplished something and it gives you more momentum to move forward and take on the next task. 

Another tool to use is a parking lot. For things that aren’t important and don’t need to happen now, you can create a parking lot. It might be important a week from now, a month from now, next quarter. Who knows? But if you’re afraid you might forget it, just create a parking lot for all those things that don’t need to happen now that can be tended to later. 

And most importantly, don’t forget the four Ds. If it makes sense when you circle that top one of what’s most important, 1. do it, get it done.  If this is something maybe you don’t have to do, 2. delegate it. A lot of us think we have to do it. No, it just needs to get done. So, find the person that you could delegate it to. Like I said with the parking lot, you might 3. Defer it to a later date. Or as you’re going through your list, you just might 4. dump it and realize it’s just not important at all so this doesn’t even need to be on the list.  

Those are some helpful tips to master your to-do list to get much more efficient. In final, I’ll leave you with a question. Could you possibly work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and still have things on your to-do list? Most likely the answer is yes. If the answer is yes, that means you have to get really, really intentional on what’s most important now that’s going to make the biggest impact. Think that way and you will be able to put all these points in place, get efficient with your to-do list, start accomplishing your goals, and make them victories to create the momentum to move forward.  

COACH MICHAEL DILL is an Award-Winning Certified Business Coach, global speaker, and published author. He is a proud Action Coach Franchise partner as well as the President of Power & Ice Wealth Creation a strategic leadership company that works with business owners, leaders, teams, and entrepreneurs to both develop a systematized and structured organization while accelerating their mindset, efficiencies, and effectiveness to grow both personally and professionally to achieve extraordinary results. He brings more than 40 years of business and entrepreneurial experience in his leadership, team training, and mentoring practice. Businesscoachmichaeldill.com