To Do List

If you’re not accomplishing everything you want in your business or sales career, take a look at your to-do list. If you’re like most people, you’ll find it’s not the things that are on there that create the problems. It’s the things you haven’t been able to get rid of.

Many people in business are too busy for their own good, and most of us know it. Some people wear the term “busy” as a badge of honor, but I’m no longer one of those people. A long time ago, I was. I’d watch as other busy people nodded along knowingly as we discussed how busy we were. It’s as if they were saying, “Yes brother, I understand, I too am busy. We are busy people, leading busy lives and we derive our worth from our busyness.”

But Busyness and Business are Two Different Things

  • Busyness is making phone calls. Business is closing sales.
  • Busyness is meeting with people. Business is accomplishing the goal of the meeting.
  • Busyness is about doing things. Business is about getting things done… as in finished… as in completed.

This means that until the goal or objective of the work we’re doing is completed, the true value of that work cannot be fully realized.

Which brings me back to the all-important to-do list.

How many of the things on your to-do list should have been accomplished a day ago, a week ago, a month ago, a year ago or even more?

How many things have been “a work in progress” for so long that you’ve actually lost sight of the fact that at some point they’re really supposed to be done?

How is it that I can work on losing the same ten pounds for the past three years? At some point, I need to either achieve the goal or admit that it’s just not enough of a priority for me to get it done.

So why keep pretending?

In saying this, I’m not suggesting you should give up on your goals. But I am suggesting that we get real about the things we’re actually doing vs. the things we’re intent on doing vs. the things we’re considering doing or thinking about doing or just saying we’re doing without actually getting them done.

At some point, isn’t it just 100 times better to get a big old check mark next to that goal?


As we approach the end of the year, take a look at your to-do list. Ask yourself:

  • Which of these projects need to be completed NOW?
  • Which of these projects can I move to my calendar for completion within the next week or two?
  • And which of these projects are either dead or no longer worth pursuing?

It’s been said that a goal without a deadline is just a dream. So what are you dreaming about and what are you fully committed to taking action on?

What are the most important goals you’ve outlined that need to be brought to completion? What are most important actions on your to-do list that need to be accomplished so you can mark them as done? Which one item, if you were to clear it off your list, would remove the most mental clutter?

If you’ve been confusing activity with accomplishment, or busyness with business, now is the time to just STOP. Take a deep breath. Review your goals and objectives. What do you want to have happen?

Determine which specific activities will help get you there and then focus on not just doing those activities, but actually getting them done.


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