Until recently I used to write long To Do Lists with things that I felt I needed to get done in a day. The act of checking off a box always feels good but doesn’t always mean that we are actually getting somewhere. Writing a Success List vs. a To Do List makes those checked boxes much more effective and ensures that we are heading toward our goals.
In my last post on organizing my life goals we went over a short online course that helped me set and organize my goals, purposes, plans etc. so that I can actually achieve them. Once I had those items aligned I needed to establish a precise success list of actions to take right now so that I knew the exact next step to take. (This post contains affiliate links)
In order to do that, I needed to ask myself, “What’s the one thing I can do right now for my goals that by doing it makes everything else easier or unnecessary.”
I learned about asking myself the above type of question from the book, The One Thing, by Gary Keller. Gary explains the difference between a Success List vs. a To Do List and gives you a “Focusing Question” that you can ask yourself on any goal or area of life at any time when you are trying to figure out what’s the best action to take right now.
Have you every noticed at work or in any group you are a part of that the majority of what gets done or accomplished is produced by a minority of the staff or team members?
The One Thing also talks about the concept of Pareto’s Principle, also referred to as the 80/20 Principle by another author. The concept he goes over is that the minority of one’s effort leads to the majority of one’s results and in order to turn your To Do List into a Success List you need to prioritize it.
Put the Big Rocks in First!
Not long ago I heard a speaker share a story they had heard about a teacher with a large glass jar at the front of the class. The teacher put several large rocks into the jar and asked the students if it was full. The students said yes but they were wrong. The teacher brought out some gravel and poured it into the jar and it filled in among the rocks. Again the students were asked if it was full. Then the teacher brought out some sand and the sand filled in around the gravel. Now is it full? Nope! The teacher then poured water into the jar which filled all the tiny spaces around the sand.
If he had started with sand or water then the big rocks wouldn’t have fit.
The moral of the story was that if you don’t put the big rocks of life in first, they wont get done.
De-Cluttered To Do List
The One Thing greatly helped me to handle the overwhelm of “too much to do!” It got me to de-clutter my To Do List and focus on what is most important for an actual Success List. Its a bit of a longer read than The Go-Giver but it is totally worth it.
Next in the Series: Part V
In Part V we will go over how to make the most of the 24 hours that we each have so we don’t end up at the end of the day wondering, “Where did today go?”
Until Next Time!
I hope you enjoyed this post and that it helped in your journey to achieve your aspirations! Shoot me an email with any questions or to let me know what else you would like to read about in my Blog. You can check out the earlier posts of this series here: The Right Mindset for Success, Eradicating Time Wasters and Organizing My Life Goals.