A Must Do List not a To Do List

I am busy.  I get pulled in a million different directions.  What makes it worse is I am a spurt worker.  I can’t just sit and do single task for long periods of time.  I have to mix it up.  On top of it all, I can be a bit ADD.   All of this makes it difficult to stay focused and get things done.

I’m never going to be a task master.  I’ve come to accept that.  But, not getting stuff done, or forgetting something until last minute drives me crazy. To become more effective I came up the Must Do List or what I call “Come Hell or High Water” list.  The difference between a “MUST do list” vs a “To do list” is to do lists have little priority and accountability. To do lists are just that to do lists.  They don’t focus on much and get unwieldy.  Mine would just get longer and longer and I then I’d stop using them.   So, I came up with the MUST do list.  A must do list is a list of things that have to get done that day. Must do lists incorporate accountability, urgency and most importantly simplicity.  There is no thinking when it comes to a must do list, no determining wich task to do first or which to push till tomorrow, you just do everything on the list today, period.

My must do list is a list of the 6 or 7 of the most important things I have to get done that day.  They are the actions or tasks most critical to success. They are never trivial tasks like answer email.  They are things that move the ball, that added up get me closer to success.  My must do list is built on the premise that no matter what happens, my day is NOT completed until everything on the list is checked off.  No cheating, no quitting, no excuses.

The must do list is great because it keeps me from getting sucked into email, and other unimportant stuff.  It mitigates the distractions.  When I have 6-7 things that I have to get done to complete my day, they become my priority not all the distractions.   A good must do list keeps me on track, gets the important things done and keeps the distractions from sabotaging the big picture.

To do lists are hollow.  They don’t have focus.   If you focus on what’s critical, if you get done what has to get done, the rest takes care of itself.

My “must do list” has been huge for my productivity.   How do you stay on track?

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