I Don’t Have A To-Do List, I Have A Will-Do List

When I hear people say they have a to-do list, I cringe, because most items on a to-do list never get tuh-dun.

That’s because a to-do list is rarely prioritized. It’s just a random compilation of all the things that need to get done, with no rhyme or reason, no timeline, no delineation of what’s important, and what’s not.todolistwill

Plus, to-do lists are often self-defeating. When something on the list doesn’t get done, as is often the case, it simply sits dormant on a piece of paper, as it sadly watches other items added to the list. A proverbial never-ending story. The to-do item that got listed on Monday is, by Friday when unattended, shouting out: “Hey! What about me? When are you going to get to me?”

I’m an advocate of a will-do list. The word “will” can be defined as “the mental faculty by which one deliberately chooses or decides upon a course of action”.

And since you know my tagline is decide2do, a will-do list is a powerful motivator, because it means a decision’s been made. Once the decision is made, steps in the direction of goal attainment follow much more easily.

But the will-do list alone is just a first step. To add more power to the decision, the will-do’s should be couched in terms of:

“I will do _____ on (this date).

By making this decision, I’m committed to (completing/ accomplishing/ finishing/ starting/…whatever the action is) on the date I identified.

The only thing that will take me off course is an unavoidable, higher priority circumstance or issue, or an emergency.

When I say I will-do, I’m already picturing in my mind the satisfaction and results I’ll gain from having committed to a particular action and outcome. I literally see and feel the results that my commitment will bring to me.”

Are you trapped in to-do’s? Do you feel overwhelmed by an ever burgeoning list of things to do?

Another downside to to-do lists is that they’re often very tactical, and quite often list things that might need to get done, but are not high priority.

Stephen Covey‘s time management matrix delineates a quadrant of urgent, not urgent, important and not important, and you’ll find a great outline, illustrated with comics, here.

Unfortunately, many people spend too much time in the not urgent, not important quadrants.

So a good reminder is this: It’s important to schedule your priorities, not prioritize your schedule.

Make a commitment today to commit. Identify what you WILL do, by when, for what results. Then do it. Item number 1,374 on your old to-do list will thank you for it.

This post has been republished with permission from Kaarina Dillabough

Kaarina Dillabough

Kaarina Dillabough

Business Life Coach at Decide2Do
Kaarina is a business/life coach living in Ontario. For over 25 years her high-voltage energy, expertise and experience has inspired those she has worked with to reach beyond their grasp, to attain great things in business and in life. A former Olympic sports colour commentator and coach, Kaarina parlayed her coaching skills from the gym floor to the boardroom, working with business owners to improve their profitability and prosperity. In doing so, she has seen people grow both personally and professionally. Kaarina is known as an inspiring motivational speaker in areas such as branding, marketing, business growth strategies, and personal growth and prosperity. She is a passionate, seasoned coach and accountability partner with a proven track record, who loves nothing more than helping people achieve their goals in business and in life.
Kaarina Dillabough
Kaarina Dillabough

Comments

comments

11 Comments

  • July 13, 2014

    tufacitea

    chrisvermeulen5 my http://paris.tunititlan.com/5vat was

  • July 13, 2014

    Milaspage

    This is so true, too many people have lists of things they would like to do but haven’t committed to them. I like the approach of the will do mindset because I believe that when you decide you will proceed with something, you pick up pace and everything you are doing helps move in that direction. Next thing you know it s done. 

    Thank you for the great reminder in this post. 🙂

  • July 13, 2014

    KDillabough

    tonyrichards4 Many thanks for the share Tony:)

  • July 13, 2014

    KDillabough

    nrbernier Thanks so much Nathalie:)

  • July 13, 2014

    KDillabough

    CBechervaise Many thanks Chantal 🙂

  • July 14, 2014

    gingerconsult

    Clarkehouse Thanks, David! #bealeader

  • July 14, 2014

    Clarkehouse

    gingerconsult My pleasure!

  • July 18, 2014

    scott_elumn8

    RT gingerconsult: I Don’t Have A To Do List, I Have A Will Do List KDillabough #bealeader http://ow.ly/zhhVB

  • August 5, 2014

    gingerconsult

    TerriKlass Thanks, Terri KDillabough #bealeader

  • August 24, 2014

    serpiro

    gingerconsult If a to-do list are steps required to achieve goals it is not useless as you say!

  • August 24, 2014

    gingerconsult

    serpiro To KDillabough point in her post – having a will do list vs. a to-do list – folks are most apt to get it actually completed