Imagine this, you are getting into your bed after a busy day and then you remembered that you forgot to do something. That would be really annoying, right? Now also think about this, what if you were halfway through your day and you could not remember what exactly you wanted to do? How are you going to make sure that you do not forget until the last moment and/or completely forget about it? If you answer this question by saying you have a schedule, then great. But how are you making sure that you accomplish everything that you wanted to in that day? Do you have a to-do list? If you are not writing a to-do list for your day or the next, then you need to start now. Because a schedule is great and I highly recommend it, but your life is not simply a schedule. With a to-do list, you will be able to keep yourself accountable and truly be able to measure the success of your days.
Keep yourself accountable
With a physical to-do list, you know exactly what you want to accomplish. You will know what you want to accomplish and what your goals are for that particular day. For example, some of the things on my to-do list are to study for my insurance license exam, ready a few pages from Millionaire Success Habits by Dean Graziosi, do my set workout routine, write my blog post, and a few other things. At the end of the day, I know what I have and have not accomplished. Because of this list, I know exactly what I need to do and I am holding myself accountable.
Sometimes my schedule is not filled completely, that means that I fill certain empty spots with my to-do list if it has not already been included. I usually schedule almost everything in my to-do list within my schedule, but I am human and I do not do it all the time. Regardless, if I do not accomplish everything on my to-do list, then I know what I need to work on and I know how I am going to make sure I fit certain things into my day. The reason why is because I have a list that is telling me I need to accomplish this task, because I set myself up for that task. If I choose to be lazy, then my to-do list is arbitrary. However, I value my list, so I ensure that I do it. This helps me lead a more successful life.
Measure your success
When you finish a day with everything checked off on a to-do list, it feels pretty good. You know you are accomplishing the tasks that you set yourself to and you are working towards your goals. Everything that you are doing on your to-do list is making you healthier, smarter, more adaptable, and essentially making you a better person. By physically writing your tasks down and checking things off makes it where you are easily measuring your success. This is because you can easily see how much you are completing in a day. By being able to see this and what you can accomplish in a day, you understand more about yourself, you get a better sense for your future, and you can see the difference you are making.
While you are working on a to-do list, there are a couple of things that I want for you to take note:
- Do not overfill it. When you write out a list of things you want to do in a day, do not overestimate everything that you can do in 1 singular day. You have to be reasonable with yourself. You cannot put down a million different things on your list and expect for you to accomplish every single task.
- Do not be discouraged if you do not finish everything. Similar to the last point, you have to understand what you can and cannot accomplish. Sometimes, the day goes haywire and you are not able to do a couple things on your to do list. However, do not let the miss tasks slide. Make sure you figure out how you are going to accomplish it next time. If you cannot do everything that you want to do in a day, then maybe you are being unreasonable with yourself. Or maybe you do not need to binge watch that new Netflix series. Just make sure you keep things reasonable and you do not beat yourself up for missing something here and there.
- Write your absolutes and your bonuses. As in, write down things that you absolutely have to do that day. Also, write down tasks that would be great if you did them today, but it can wait for another time. You want to make sure you pace yourself and not completely burn yourself out.
Make every one of your days count
By having a to-do list, you are keeping yourself accountable for the tasks that you want to accomplish in your day and you have a way to measure how successful you have been in the day. If you checked off everything on your to-do list, then you will feel a little elated. You will feel proud of yourself, especially when you finally have done that one task that you have been putting off for way too long. Furthermore, you will start noticing the long term effects of the to-do list. As in, your constant successes everyday will eventually equate to you growing as a person and having more external success. Your long-term goals will be conquered by you working on them every day through your to-do list.