As we go into our 2017 working year, many of us are pumped, excited and ready to tackle the world. We are filled with plans, new hopes and dreams, both for our personal and business lives. Often attached to this is a giant ‘To Do’ list, outlining all the things we want to get our teeth into, almost a guide to follow to help propel us to being at our most productive and to get our businesses thriving and hurtling towards a whole new level of success.
I’m guilty of this, completely! My ‘To Do’ list was three x A4 pages long at the beginning of last week, and now it’s down to one x A4 page today, although I’m ready to add more as the ideas are still flowing; the adrenaline still pumping. STOP! Right there, STOP! I know it’s all exciting at the moment, but as things settle down and the New Year becomes a long distant memory, all of a sudden the ‘To Do’ list will start to feel a little overwhelming if we don’t slow down. This is why so many New year’s resolutions fail. If our lists remain at pages (and pages) of items to look at every day, our enthusiasm will quickly start to wane and all of a sudden we slack off; there’s too much ‘to do’ and it seems never ending.
So here’s how to tackle and get your day off to the most productive start and how to set you up for a day of constant and progressive success. Every night, before you leave the office, your shop or pack up from your work place for the day, write down a list of three (and only three!) things to tackle on your next working day. Before you write them down, consider what are the three most important items that you can do, and don’t shy away from the rough stuff.
Actually, I like to look at them as my ‘3 x Must Do’s’. What three things are going to make a real difference? What three things will push me or my business forward? Not only do I pick the top three items, but I try to pick the most pressing, BIG and important things that I can do for that one day, rather than focus on all the little niggly things that tend to arise anyway.
Tackling the ‘BIG’ things first up in your working day, to me is a fundamental key to success. You’re fresh, at your most enthusiastic and productive, and you’ll be sure to tackle with the vigour that they deserve. Often if these things are left, because perhaps they are important but not urgent, then they never get done. You’ll tell yourself that you’ll do them tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes. If you put them off, you’ll become absorbed in the flurry of your day to day business and then the demands of the ‘instant’ or urgent items will take over.
The key to this, is that your ‘3 x Must Do’s’ can often be things that are much more important to your future. They are things that are actually assisting your business development, new ideas to implement, strategies to put together or key initiatives that will propel you forward, so make sure that you do prioritise.
I tend to work in three’s; it’s my lucky number and three items to check off is ideal. It’s achievable and you won’t feel overwhelmed, and hopefully you’ll have time to tackle before everything else takes over your day. A ‘To Do’ list of three things should not put you into a state of distress and you’ll feel satisfied, content and accomplished when you’ve checked them all off; it’s great to feel that you’re making positive headway.
So don’t delay, start your daily working day with a ‘To Do’ list of three things, and watch your progress and success unfold. Again, I do always suggest writing them down the day prior, so you have a plan and the items will not play on your mind overnight, as you’ll know they are ready for the next day.
Wishing you all the best for a fantastic 2017. It’s time for us to all ‘Strive & Thrive’!
For more information on Zoë’s two business books – Strive & Thrive and Healthy & Wealthy – check out www.zoesparks.com