The Phases of Your To Do List
So in the last lesson, we talked about using a password management tool and starting to get the log ins for the site to use on a regular basis into some sort of a system so you can share with the people that you might be outsourcing to or delegating to, but also thinking about it as a process, almost like a cleaning process to figure out what you really do need to give access to, because just 'cause you have a log in doesn't mean that you need to share it with somebody else. So in today's lesson, what we wanna talk about is your to do list. Now, I am categorically opposed to the traditional to do list because two main reasons. One is that I find the traditional to do lists are very static, which is a big problem for the human brain because we need to have sort of movement, we need to have an assembly line as it were of what we do and most people use to do lists wrong. They put projects on that are way too big or cannot be done before somebody else does something first. The way the huma...
n brain works, we need to be able to latch onto a bite size chunk, not only because we won't get it done otherwise, but because that actually helps us get more done. Progress begets progress. There is motivation built in, intrinsic motivation to completing anything, no matter how small. If you're watching this and you've ever been in any endurance board or you've done a long distance run, everyone who's done that knows the experience of saying I just need to get to the next corner, I just need to get to the next light pole, whatever it is and then you can do it again and you do it again and again. Those micro goals are huge for us. So the more that we can break things down, the more likely we are to complete them. Backing up a step even further, a lot of people have trouble making the list in the first place because they have such a jumble of information in their heads that they don't even know how to get it out. There's a great image from a Simpson's episode where Mr. Burns is diagnosed with everything and the doctor has this little door with these little fuzzy animals and he's showing him and each one of them represents like a microbe or an illness and Mr. Burns is not sick because they all can't get through this little doorway 'cause there's too many of them trying to get through the door at once. So not any one of them is making him sick. Ideas are very similar. Ideas need to have some flow to them. They need to have that sort of train of thought as it were in order to actually be able to take advantage of the good ideas, get rid of the bad ones and piece them altogether. So before you even get to a to do list you need to have some good form of idea capture and there's a lot of different ways to do this, but as simple as having something at your disposal wherever you are, no matter where you are throughout your day to be able to take advantage of ideas, get them out of your head as quickly as possible. Write them down, record them on video, on voice, it doesn't matter and it doesn't even matter if you go back and look at them. Just get the ideas coming out. Once you decide that you're gonna actually have something on your to do list or if you wanna be able to have a way to process it later, that's fine, but you just have to start by getting those ideas out of your head. Procrastination doesn't need to be an issue if you can put something on a list that somebody else can do for you. So that's one way to think of outsourcing, it's your to do list done. Now, there's a thousand different tools for to do list. As I said, I don't really like the traditional to do list. I like something that's known as a Kanban style. And there's, again, a number of different tools that will do this. I don't need to mention the specific tool. You can literally do this with Post-It Notes. If you've ever seen somebody who has Post-It Notes on a wall and they have different phases. That's the way to think of a Kanban layout and a proper doing list is to have phases. So the most basic way that you should have a to do list laid out is to do, doing, done. To do is the things that are on deck to get done, they need to be broken down as small as possible so that they can be given to someone else or for your own work, that's fine to do. The doing list, which is in the middle is what you're actually working on now and there's transparency around that so you know what you're working on, somebody else knows what you're working, your team knows and then done is obviously done, but there's motivation. That's a whole list of motivation. That's what that is, a big bucket of you go. Now, to do, doing, done is sort of the generic. You can have this be whatever you want. You could say thinking about, working on, finished, it doesn't matter. You can also have five different phases if you want. You can say considering, researching, working on, almost done, done, it doesn't matter, but there needs to be that art. There's needs to be a sense of movement, a sense of places for it to go. That has to be able to go and it can move back and forth between those phases, that's fine, but you really want to think about this idea in assembly line of what you do. Making the to do list is not the goal. Moving them through that phase is the goal. Now, doing it for yourself is a great first step and it's, again, a good way to sort of get yourself ready to delegate. But once you can tie in a team or a virtual system or whatever else it is into it, that's where you can really start to have great impact. So what I want you to do today in this lesson is to take a few minutes and think about the projects that you're not getting done, that you're not taking advantage of. Maybe you already have a to do list, that's fine, take that one too, combine 'em all together and start breaking those things down into bite size chunks. One of the ways to think about this is something called the positive focus where you look at something that was a really big accomplishment over the last quarter or the last month or the last week, it doesn't even matter, and think about what can I do to make this go to the next level? Break that down into what is the very next action that could be taken on it and odds are that will be something that you can start to outsource.