I first explored the idea of 'done' lists when working with American life coach Michael Neill, probably my most productive period.
I'm a lists kind of guy. Preparing for a meeting, planning an event, packing for a trip, make a list. My personal best was seven concurrent lists, in fact, everything had a 'to do; list and therein lies the problem...
'To do' is framed wrongly. It's like 'should' - we know we should, but when? I realised my fun came not in completing a task, but ticking it off the list. If you've ever done something not on your list then added it later for the satisfaction of ticking it off, you'll know what I mean.
Let's frame things differently. My done list quickly became invaluable. The fact I was keeping track of everything I got done was, in fact, the reason I did so much.
My second realisation was that there was too much on my list, I was trying to juggle too much. Most people can, with a little practice, juggle with three balls, but the difference between juggling three and adding a fourth, is huge.
You see, with three you always have a firm grasp of two, and only one ball in the air. The more things that you add, the more things become out of control.
How much simpler would your life be if you never had more than
three things on your list?
1. Right now, ask yourself: "What are the three most important things I want to make today about?"
2. Ask yourself: "What is the one thing I most want to do or get done in each of these areas?
These three things now make up today's list. Anything else can wait (unless it can't!).
3. Any time during the day you feel yourself getting frustrated, overwhelmed or off-track, ask again: "What are the three most important things I want to make today about?" Then: "What is the one thing in each area I most want to do or get done?" If the answers have changed, go with the new ones.
For fun, widen it from work, make a list of other juggler questions. Here are three of my favourites:
??1. What are my three biggest life/career goals?
2. Who are the three most important people in my life?
3. What are the three changes that would make the biggest difference in the quality of my daily life?
Remember, have fun! To the untrained eye, juggling has the appearance of magic!
Ali Campbell is a life coach and