Not getting your to-do list done each day, here is why

Often I run into agents who want to talk about how they never get anything done. They think all they need is a new system or a new program to make it all better.
More often than not the problem is not with the systems, the problem is with the work they are doing.

If you find yourself failing to get things done, I’m fairly certain that one of two things is happening. Either you are trying to do to many things, or you really just don’t like what you are doing.

If it is the later, if you really don’t like what you are doing, you have two options. You need to either learn to outsource or delegate the items you don’t like to do, or just don’t do it, and find something else to do. Life is to short to spend most of your day doing something you dislike.

But what I want to focus on is the person who has to many things on their plate. The person with the to-do list with hundreds of items that grows more than it shrinks each week.

Stop, just stop

Here is a little exercise I want you to do. It is similar to the Warren Buffet way to success with a little twist of my own.

First thing I want you to do is write down a list of everything you want to accomplish. Vacation, new business, run a marathon, get a promotion, launch a project, get a certification, finish school… Whatever you can think of that you want to accomplish over the next year, two years or five years.

Now look at the list and boil down a top ten. What are the top ten things you want to accomplish on that list if you could only do ten.

Now that you selected ten write them down on a desperate sheet. Look at them, study them, pray about them, really think about them.

Now number them in an order of importance to you from 1–10. Take a night and sleep on it if you need to. Make sure you are happy with your order.

Now split the list into two. On one sheet put the top five things you want to accomplish. After that you can stop. Yup, stop there.

Now you have your priority list.

What next

Now that you have your priorities you are going to focus on them and forget everything else on you list. Yes forget them. Why?

Because that’s your problem, you are spreading yourself to thin as it is. You have to much going on. If you add them back to your to-list you are going to end up right back in the same place. Wondering why you never get anything done.

Now you need to start working on that list ever day. And only with what is on your list.

The next step

Don’t get bogged down in your long lists though. Ask yourself every morning, what are three things I want to accomplish today. What are three outcomes I want to achieve. Not necessarily three to-do items, but an outcome that you want to achieve or complete.

That is your to-do list for today. Achieve those three things, achieve them first before you do anything else. Then if you have more time move onto other tasks.

The key is though, stay on task and don’t do anything that moves you away from your top five list.

Your takeaway

If you are not happy with your productivity:
* Stop doing things you hate to do, even if that means finding a new line of work
* Write down everything you want to do and accomplish
* Pick the top five things from that list
* Eliminate everything else
* Every morning pick three outcomes you want to achieve that move you slowly towards your five
* Do those three first, before anything else
* Rinse and repeat and win!


Photo credit Flickr creative commons

Turn off the fire hose at conferences and seminars

There is one huge mistake people make when they take classes or go to seminars that are supposed to help their business or personal life.

Since the release of my Complete Guide Of Using Evernote For Real Estate, my speaking opportunities have increased greatly. As I write this, I am currently sitting at the airport on my way to speak at Inman Connect in San Francisco.

Conferences like Inman are full of sessions and panels by some of the brightest experts in the industry. Every 45 minutes another three sessions start giving out great advice.

By the time most attendees are done their three days of sessions, they will have 50 pages of notes and 18 new ideas they want to implement.

This is great. Lots of good ideas is never a bad thing. Except when it causes paralysis.

Turn off the fire hose.

Coming out of a conference with a dozen ideas is like watering a small flower bush with a fire hose. Sure you will reach your objective of providing it water, but too much at once can kill it.

What I like to do at conferences and seminars is review the big ideas I have. So if there were 18 main ideas I thought I wanted to implement, I would write them all down in an Evernote note, linking each idea to the note on the subject.

Then I would save the list in my someday business tag.

Next I look at the list and pick the 2-3 things on that list I think will be the most impactful in my life or business, and that, not the whole list, is what becomes my action items, my goals, my takeaways.

I am a man of many ideas, no one knows better than me how too many ideas leads to nothing getting done. So take no more than three, implement those, then when those are humming along you can come back to your someday business list and look at other ideas.


Photo Credit