What would you do if you woke up tomorrow and had no to-do list? I don’t mean you need to make a list; I mean you have no list. Think about it for a minute—really visualize your day. What would you do? Really, NO list—all your calls are made, your clients are serviced, your office is clutter free. Would you give a client added value by calling or meeting her with some fresh ideas or helpful information? Would you meet with someone who has been a good referral source in the past? Would you write an article for your newsletter, blog or an industry magazine? Would you call an impromptu team meeting to plan your next few months or year?
You can have a To-Do List Free life if you really want it by following these rules: don’t procrastinate, don’t overpromise, and don’t blame, criticize or complain.
This will reduce your to do list faster than any other action. Whenever possible, just do it. We often delay completing tasks by putting them on a list. When an action is something you can do quickly, don’t put it off because you “don’t feel like it.” Get it out of your head and off of your list.
Exhale, another task eliminated.
Before you promise that client a report by the end of the day, think of what you’ll be putting on hold to do that. Will you cancel lunch with a potential client? Will you miss your child’s soccer game because you just must get this one last correction made? Will you forget to finalize a deal before the decision-maker goes on vacation? And, if you choose not to honor your promise, what’s at stake--your integrity, your credibility, your trustworthiness? Was it worth it—did you HAVE to make that promise?
DON’T BLAME, CRITICIZE OR COMPLAIN
If for one day, you didn’t blame, criticize or complain, how much extra time would you have? 22 or maybe, 23 hours? Okay, that’s an exaggeration, hopefully—maybe I subconsciously revealed something about myself!
Regardless of how upset you become, one fact holds true—you still have to handle or correct the situation that caused you to blame, criticize or complain. It doesn’t matter whose fault it might have been or why you shouldn’t have to do it. Now here’s one time you SHOULD procrastinate—just say to yourself, “I’ll put off blaming, criticizing and complaining until I solve this.” By not bogging yourself down in that negativity, you’ll not only give yourself more time, you’ll find yourself enjoying a more positive experience throughout the day.
Take a minute to reflect on your typical day—where do you find yourself most challenged? Could you, for one-day, make a conscious effort to improve that area? Consider getting an accountability partner—a friend, peer or co-worker—who is willing to gently remind you to STOP when you start to procrastinate or criticize. The Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu says, “Time is a created thing. To say, ‘I don’t have time’ is to say, ‘I don’t want to.’”
Joy happens when you find how to incorporate more of what you want to do and eliminate or get help with what you don’t want to do. Go for the joy!
President, The Zen Speaker
NEW! Supportive Coaching with Amy Ayoub
Because this method of coaching has propelled me forward this past year in the areas I’ve been concentrating on in my life, I’m offering it to those of you who have been wanting a consistent, yet less intense, coaching opportunity with me.
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