What did you do this past week? Write it all down. Short-hand, as a bullet list, paragraph form, whatever it takes. Write it ALL down. Go ahead. I’ll wait…
I played golf (twice), won a golf scramble tournament. I led a group of Emerging Leaders through a Team Building training and then taught them how to be Team Builders on their own teams. I did a Keynote Address for the Monroe Chamber of Commerce Business Summit on being true to your Core Values. I helped my two sons with homework. I taught a class on baby products for expectant parents. I taught a class for expectant daddies. I got a quote back for printing my next book. I placed orders for the store. I dealt with defects and problems for customers. I calculated cash flow projections. I wrote up a new schedule for staff for next month. I planned a staff meeting. I met with three sales reps. I went biking. I went running. I took my dog to agility class. I played my guitar. I set up a sound system for church. I installed a bunch of car seats. I ran errands. I went on TV. I wrote a bunch of emails. I read a bunch of blogs. I wrote a blog. I cooked for my wife and kids. I ate. I slept.
Three things come from a list like this.
First, unless you wrote a chronological list, the first few things you listed were likely the items that meant the most to you. Sometimes this is the easiest way to figure out where your priorities lie, and if they are aligned with your needs.
Second, sometimes it is easy to forget all the incredible things you do in a week. Pat yourself on the back for all you accomplished. It is often more than you thought and quite often more than you expected. Writing it all down helps bring into focus all you do and the impact you make.
Third, it helps you remember all that you didn’t do. Compare one week’s list to the next and you will see what you failed to accomplish. Don’t be so hard on yourself. There is always more to do. Put those things on this week’s To Do list and get busy.
It is good to stop and take your pulse from time to time and make sure you have your priorities straight. Take a good look at your list and figure out the story it has to tell you. Then decide what you want to put on next week’s list.
PS Yes, it was a particularly busy week for me with some really fun big events. But, surprisingly enough, the list is no longer than any other week. Just different. Isn’t variety the spice of life? And I can quickly see where I need to spend more time next week.
PPS Don’t compare your list to mine or anyone else’s. You aren’t living those lives. Live your own. Just do it consciously and with purpose. This list exercise helps you do that.