My sister likes lists, in fact she lives her life by them…always has. Go to see her and you’ll always find the main three on the go…shopping, housey-stuff, and ‘must sort out’. It’s her process for getting things done, and it works for her…sort-of. You see, she is blighted by the terrible twins of distraction and procrastination! She has her list, her process for getting things done, but if there is an online sale at M&S, or if Voyage Prive send her a bunch of their latest offers (an everyday occurrence), she can lose hours on her ipad.
There are some pretty important things on her ‘must sort out’ list too, but somehow she never has time for them day to day, and they are only ever completed when crisis point is reached. She’s a lovely laid-back character, it doesn’t stress her…but it drives me mad.
She has a process, it’s a great start, but it doesn’t really help her to complete or achieve…it just reminds her that there are things she needs to do that she hasn’t done. Some of the things on that ‘must sort out’ list have been on there for years…and I’m really not kidding!
One of my other sisters (there are 6 of us) also has a process for getting stuff done. She also uses lists, but for her they are just the final step in the process. Way before she gets to list-writing she’ll spend time thinking about:
- What she wants to achieve
-Why it’s important
-How important it is…is there a deadline…is someone else relying on her getting it done?
-Can the big stuff she’s doing be broken down into smaller chunks, with milestones
-What the drop-deadline is for everything she has to do
-What the consequences are if she doesn’t do any of this…financial? …relational? …time?
Only then will she plot her lists…ordered by what she must get done this month, this week…today! There’s clarity in this process…an understanding that something must be done…and both a belief and a determination that it will be…by a certain deadline…because she has committed to do it. It’s simple, it’s logical, and it’s repeatable as every good process should be.
Deadlines and discipline are the key differences between the two, as they often are between those who are able to grow their business, and those who do ok…but could do better.
Which one resonates with you?
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Marianne is the author of three books, and is currently working on her fourth, whilst regularly writing her blog, we hope you enjoy it :-)