“To Do” lists are popular for the vast majority of people today. The idea of writing some items down on a piece of paper and systematically checking them off has been a time honored way of getting things done.
A few years back, I made a simple change to my lists. I renamed them. These days, I prepare a results list for each day and began working toward getting “results”. It was more than just a psychological move. The idea behind a results list is that I’m working toward larger goals that I’ve carefully planned out. Any actions that I’m doing should be moving me closer toward the goals I have set for myself. If you read my series on personal growth last fall, you know I like to plan goals annually and from there, work down into manageable tasks that will move me along the way. I have several lists that I check each week during a scheduled review and I place those on my 24/7 planner to achieve during the coming week. Of course, other things come at us during the day and we constantly have to review and revise our work to make sure truly urgent tasks are done while managing those that need to move us along in our goals.
That’s where results come in. Part of my daily ritual is to take a few moments before bed and give myself a rough outline for my day. I may move some things around on my planner but I try to put together a list of a few things I really want to get done for that day. I also review any time scheduled commitments I have and I plan my blank hours (those without commitments) to knock out things on my list along with other daily tasks like my devotional time, exercise, and family events.
For me, to-do lists signify a lack of long range planning, reactive task management instead of proactive, and more of the same ole, same ole! If you are to achieve more and greater things, you must plan ahead and those plans must include tasks that take you from where you are to where you want to go. A “results” list says that you have made commitments to others and yourself. On the psychological side, it triggers me to know that I’m moving forward and not just standing still. I’m taking proactive steps to achieve the things God has laid on my heart to accomplish.
So, what “things” will you accomplish today? Are they moving you forward, or just helping you keep up? Think through your lists and prepare your own “results” list today!