The Unwitting Entrepreneur

Information and Inspiration for Women Entrepreneurs

I am a lover of lists- long ones, short ones, lists in beautiful notebooks that I buy just to keep track of them, or on the back of old envelopes when I’ve misplaced the notebooks. Lists are a way of capturing all of the constantly swirling ideas and thoughts in my head and pinning them down into a place where I can keep track of them, and later address. Crossing items off of my lists once I have visited the website I read about in a magazine or reached out to a contact gives me a sense of accomplishment, knowing that I am progressing towards… hmm, I’m not sure. Perhaps someplace where I will no longer need to make lists.

Lately, though, I’ve noticed the items on my lists have growing more numerous, and that more and more of them are not getting crossed off. Number one, write three articles for my website on the weekend to give myself more breathing room during the week- uncheck. Number two, create curtains for the bedroom window with fabric I purchased on sale two months ago- uncheck. Number three, develop personal budget that cuts out many unnecessary shopping trips and deposit extra money in my rainy day fund- uncheck (and which possibly explains why those blog articles never seem to get written over the weekend).


What’s happening here? Without lists my life feels like it’s quickly spinning out of control, but when the lists multiply rapidly with items that never get accomplished, I struggle with the sense of never actually getting anything (or enough things) done.

Thus, I have come up with a strategy for wrestling back control of my life from a somewhat arbitrary list of things-to-do, one which never seems to grow smaller than ten lines. I am simplifying my goals and plans into the three most important items from my overall to-do list, items that I can accomplish in a single day. Three seems to be a meaningful, doable number, one that lets me know I am making progress without making me feel like Sisyphus, forever pushing a boulder up a hill. Following this system, I know that at the end of the week, I will have accomplished at least 21 of the most important items on my list, which seems to me to be pretty impressive. Furthermore, I will do these three things before doing any extraneous activities- flipping through magazines, watching TV, and especially shopping, which always derails my most pressing tasks.

Will my strategy work? I’ll update you in a later post on my progress…


bdg2011 On March - 30 - 2011

5 Responses so far.

  1. SheBloggs says:

    Sounds like my life!

    I’ve always loved crossing things off my daily to-do list. After starting my business last year, it feel likes I can’t keep up with my list. I spent weeks feeling bad about not getting everything done.

    I now have a new system. I got a day planner and I make weekly lists. On each day, I prioritize the things I absoutely have to get done that day and at the end of the week, I’ve often managed to get almost everything done.

    For me, it’s about prioritizing what I need to do and being realistic about the time I have to get things done.

  2. Emma Chace says:

    I’m a big fan of the strategy to write down the 2 most important things you have to HAVE TO get done that day on a sticky note, and carry it in your pocket so you keep reminding yourself, and try not to do any of the little things until those two large items get done. It’s worked very well so far.

    • bdg2011 says:

      That’s a good one! I had to modify my strategy a bit, because I have WAY more than 3 things to get done everyday, so now I prioritize the top 3 things that MUST be finished before sundown, and I start my day doing those. That way, if they’re the only things I get done, at least I was still productive. =)

  3. gume fulda says:

    letne gume fulda
    Thanks for your input and I will use it for my school research that I am doing for this website.

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