I’m a list person. But I’ll be the first to admit that lists aren’t always all they are cracked up to be.
A list can be a great tool IF you have the right things on the list.
But what if you don’t?
Then a list is simply a waste of time.
But the problem comes in not knowing if you are making the right list … or the wrong one. Because we use our own knowledge, our own filters, our own biases, there is a good chance your list may do more harm then good.
Your list may be putting you on the path to “un-success”.
If you look at your own life – wants, desires and goals – chances are you have big things planned for the future.
“I want to start my own business.”
“I want more time with family and friends.”
“I want to quit the 9 to 5 corporate grind.”
“I want to travel more.”
“I want to make sure my kids get into all of the best camps and schools.”
Those are great desires to have; but does your list support those goals?
Unnecessary tasks are the number one cause people don’t get what they want out of life.
When you make a list, you fill it with a variety of tasks. But when it comes time to check the items off the list AND SO SOMETHING, we tend to go with what we love first, pushing the difficult or challenging tasks to the bottom. And eventually you wad up the piece of paper and throw it away – do you really want to be reminded year after year of the tasks you can’t get done?
If we don’t want to do something, for whatever reason, we don’t. No matter how much impact it may have on our future.
So what is the solution?
Do only the things you love to do and have them make all the difference in the world.
Of course its not that simple. We would all be highly successful people if that were the case. But there are things you can do right now that will help you create better lists.
If you actively looked at everything you do, there are many ways you could simplify your life, giving you reason to create stronger lists. Let me show you what I mean.
Lists you simply don’t have to do …
- Respond to every email that comes into your message box
- Be available to everyone that calls your mobile phone
- Stay on the committee your were “forced” to join
- Stay in college/grad school to up your resume for a better job (that you really don’t want in the first place)
Lists that aren’t necessary …
- Live up to the expectations others have created for you
- Attend the Friday bookclub you’ve been in for years with people you sorta get along with
- Own a home, upgrade to a bigger home, and try and keep up with the Jonses
- Stick with things you start for appearances
Lists you might have to change …
- Your desire to be the cool mom/friend/sister/aunt and buy expensive gifts for every occasion
- Your desire to stay in the same community you’ve been in since birth
- The way people around you depend on your for different parts of their lives
Lists you may have to use to jumpstart your passion for living again …
- Pursue a career that doesn’t use your education, skills and knowledge you’ve spent years and money chasing
- Work at a low status, low paying job while you build your dreams during the most opportune times of the day
- Sell off or downgrade your stuff
- Completely ignore friend’s and family’s advice and expectations
- Quit projects that are no longer relevant to your new desires
If reading through these list changes gave you chills – possibly from fear and excitement – good. You are heading in the right direction.
When you make big changes – huge changes – you open up your world to the potential of doing something new.
And only when you have the time to do things outside of your ordinary can you fill it with things that will change your future for good.