Do you have a “must do” list?

Posted by on October 10, 2011

We’ve all learned in business along the way how to keep track of what needs to be done. Some of us log tasks into Outlook, others on our smartphone notes app, and some still find it easiest to jot down our To Do list on a piece of paper and scratch things off as we go.

Whatever your method, I wonder if your To Do list is helping you accomplish your goals.  Sure, checking things off the list as the day wears on is somewhat satisfying, but do you get to the end of your day and see that you’ve made progress on what really matters?  Consider for a few minutes what matters in your job. How will you be measured?  What are the things you need to do to achieve your goals, or the right results for your team, or for your customer?  It’s important to know those categories of tasks and which ones have the most impact.

The  Must Do list is much better than the To Do list, and I have nearly 10 months of this year behind me to prove it.  At the beginning of the year, I changed the way I begin my days by logging a Must Do list on my iPhone Notes app.  It typically has 3-5 things on it, and it’s actually harder to accomplish than my previous To Do lists that had more than 20 tasks a day noted.

The reason it’s harder — you can probably guess —  is because it’s made up of the important, not just the urgent, things.  It has the tough phone calls, the forecasting, the planning, the one-on-one conversations that have to happen if I’m going to end the week and be able to view it as progress.

Try out a Must Do list this week and see if it helps you focus more on what really matters in your role.  Let me know if it works for you.


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