How to unstick the lingering “to dos” on your lists

You may have an item or two on your to-do list(s) that seem to just sit there, gathering dust, and not getting done. Every time you scan your to-do list(s), you pass right over them. Frustrating, aren’t they?! Here’s the good news: there are just 3 reasons why they are might be stuck. And there is an easy fix for each reason.

  1. It’s fuzzy. You haven’t decided what this item means to you. An example of an item like this might be, “terms and conditions on the Olivier contract.” All this says is that you want to remember something about those Ts & Cs. But is this something you want to file, do, or delegate?  Take the time and decide what this item means to you. (see Effectiveness Habit #3: MOD It)
  2. It’s not doable. You may have decided that the item is something you want do. But if it is not broken down into a specific, physical step, you will ignore it on your list.  Restate this item as either a physically doable step (e.g. email, call, errand, read, etc.). Example: turn “Wilkinson Offer” to “Outline Wilkinson Offer.” Or, if it is an outcome (something that takes more than one step to complete), then record the outcome on your list of outcomes and pick a very next doable step for it. Example: turn “fix the terms and conditions on the Olivier contract” into an outcome called, “Fix the Ts & Cs in the Olivier contract” and have a next, physical step of, “Call Linda to ask what she thinks the Olivier Ts and Cs need.”
  3. It’s not important. Other things are and have been more important to do first. Reassess if this item is really important now. If it is not, move it to your “back burner” list.


To your continued success!


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