I’ve always procrastinated. When I was in middle school and high school my parents would bemoan my lack of urgency when it came to…just about anything. It’s not due until tomorrow I would say. Often times, as the story usually goes, tomorrow would come and I would be grasping at straws for reasons why my projects weren’t done.
This painful habit followed me into my adult life. The laundry could wait until tomorrow. The light bulb that was out in the kitchen could wait until a few months from now. I was always a procrastinator.
Until last month, I got this crazy idea, I need to actually get some things done.
Maybe it was the fact that I was running my own digital marketing agency with my wife that forced me to start making progress on things or maybe it just become too much work to come up with excuses. I don’t honestly know what turned the light switch on for me, but mercifully, 36 years later, it turned on and now I am getting things done…no excuses.
How did I do it?
The simplest thing changed my outlook and I haven’t looked back.
I introduced into my life, the “Must-Do List.”
There is not really a whole lot of explaining required about this strategy, it is literally a list of things that I have to get done that day.
So a to-do list right?
Wrong…it is a MUST-DO list.
You see for me a to-do list was open ended enough that I thought, ya I have to do that thing, but I can do it tomorrow no big deal. The must-do list created a sense of urgency and I started getting things done.
I understand that it really is semantics and that these are both just lists of things that I need to get done, but sometimes mind over matter just works.
The must-do list lives on the main screen of my phone and has five items on it. Every time I accomplish an item on the list it gets marked off. When the list is complete I feel accomplished and realize that things are actually getting done. That night, while relaxing I write up tomorrow’s must-do list. It works!
The trick to writing a good must-do list is to make the items on it achievable. For instance, I need to paint an area in my house. I knew I wouldn’t get the whole area done in one night, so I broke it into smaller tasks. One night I would tape, the next night I would paint the ceiling, then so on and so forth until it was done.
The must-do list has turned this lifelong procrastinator into someone who gets things done.
Start a must-do list and I promise you the things you need to get done, will get done, because, they are MUST-DO.