A Will-Do List

6:29 am Coaching, Disciple, Will Do

I was sure I’ve talked about this before – – some things are just worth repeating.

One of the things I’m considering using this blog for is my “Will Do” list. Now why a WillDo and not a ToDo? Maybe you can think of it as a MustDo list. These concepts and lists have different purposes.

For example, in the time management system called “Getting Things Done” (GTD by devoted fans, and the rest of us…) the idea is to put everything on your list to get it out of your head and on to paper. Then you spend your time prioritizing and deciding whether that was hair brained, an errant dream, or a vital task that must be accomplished.

I’m not looking for something like that. That is an all encompassing tool. I would like a comprehensive system. But there is no system that works if you don’t run it. And for me, consistency is lacking so any system will fail when you don’t crank the handle.

However, I do still have things that need to be accomplished in my life. Hmm, authorizing my newly issued debit card is on the list since the gas station doesn’t believe me when I say I have the new one while I’m trying to convince them to “just use the old, expired one for now.” There’s also that little issue with one of the taxing authorities, they’re looking for about a hundred bucks and some form from 3rd quarter of 2010. And they probably won’t wait forever… Things still need to get done.

Enter the “will do” list. It is a list that contains items that must be done today for the day to be considered a success. So how would this list work?

  • It would have to be a short list.  You couldn’t put everything that pops into your head on this list, there are only so many hours in a day.
  • It would have to be specific.  “Work on my book” doesn’t fly,  “write 200 words” would, or “review chapter structure” would if even just a cursory glance is enough.  (Helpful tip, sometimes even just saying “open and review outline” sounds simple and an easy throw away task.  But once you’ve gone to the trouble of opening it, you might as well work on it for a little while.  It’s a great way to trick yourself out of procrastination.  Or, as I like to call it, overcoming static friction.  Inertia works both ways, staying at rest AND remaining in motion.  I know that’s hard to believe with our friend friction around, but it’s true!
  • It has to be a closed list.  This means you have to predetermine what’s on there.  You have the list laid out and you say “Go!”
  • It has to be reviewed.  Now there is an amazing phenomenon that just putting the list down and never reviewing it will get at least 60 – 70% of it completed – that’s been my experience at least!  Could this be the “Law of Attraction” at work?  Don’t get me started… another time.  But “testin’ and trackin'” is the only way to incremental improvement.  If you don’t review, that percentage will remain at it’s 2/3 success rate (not bad, but lots of room to improve.

It’s that last point that this blog might come in handy for.  It would be the accountability that pushes for a review.  Of course this may mean that there has to be two posts – one for the list and one for it’s review.  Is that really true?  Could I just post that the last WillDo list has been reviewed and that be enough?  I’m still thinking about this one.  How can a blog be used as an accountability partner or tool?  Have you got ideas on this?