Making My List And Checking It Twice

By: D.A. Slinkard
I just don’t have time! Congratulations, as you have just read the sentence most often repeated with the most amount of conviction throughout the United States. I oftentimes question how long we must lie to ourselves and to others before we decide that we are going to be honest with who we actually are. For instance, I can be honest with myself that I do not want to work out. I know that I need to, but knowing what I need to do and actually doing the behavior are two different things. The great thing about this concept is that I am not alone because many other people suffer from the same prognosis.

Simply put, if it is important to us we will find a way, if not we will find an excuse. If you are an individual who finds themselves with more things to do than you have time, then might I suggest that you prioritize your life a little bit better? Some of you may be thinking that you prioritize your life just fine, but again it is time for you to be honest. If you do as good of a job as you think you do, you would be accomplishing more than you are achieving.

In the past I have touched upon the “To-Do List” but have not really expanded upon the topic until now. In the retail industry, I am oftentimes asked how or what makes the biggest impact to my success. Sadly, the majority of the people that ask this question leave the conversation feeling disappointed, as if they expected me to answer with some great philosophical strategy that would revolutionize the world. My answer is simple – I write stuff down, and I give it a number upon my list of things that I need to accomplish.

Writing things down sounds obviously easy enough to do but many people struggle with this elementary act. Something could have happened during the day that required our attention, but because we did not write it down, we forgot about it. We remembered when it was too late, and we become our own worst enemy.

If you go back to my self-discipline article, you will find where I touched on this subject, but I believe our lives need to be dominated with the words of self-discipline. I think about the term “overnight success story” and what I have found is that many times these people who have been “lucky” in life actually were very diligent in achieving their success. People fail to realize that the overnight success story was actually ten years in the making. Many times we see the end result of success and confuse it with the beginning result.

Life doesn’t work that way. I read a quote a long time ago that stated, “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” Sadly though, we have become a society that thinks we can have success the easy way, somehow we can obtain great things by only working four hours per week. If people would spend as much time working hard as what they do when trying to get out of work, how much better would their life be? If these people utilized the written to-do list, they would be so fixated on what they are trying to accomplish that they would not have time to focus upon anything else.

Having success in life is about building a process of what you need to get done, making your list and then attacking said list. This is something that everyone knows they should be doing, but just like me and working out, there are a ton of people out there that cannot do what they know must be done. You have to find a way to make your list important to you and figure out ways to get beyond the hurdles that will occur in your life. I can’t tell you how many times I breeze through items one through nine but hit a mental roadblock on completing the remaining six items.

I remember an individual telling me a decade ago that they attack their to-do list by putting things they dread doing first. This person found more enjoyment from their day by attacking the “don’t want to” items first, proceeded by the tasks they enjoyed doing. Personally I was never able to get the same excitement doing it this way but to each his own. No matter what, it’s important you have a to-do list.
By: D.A. Slinkard
D.A. Slinkard is the manager of the Athens Staples store