Two Alternatives to the To-Do List

22 03 2010

Okay, so I’m one of those people who love to create To-Do Lists. It helps soothe me when I’m feeling overwhelmed and only think I have a million projects to complete. I love checking off when I’ve finished a task – I’ve experimented with different colored pens and debated as to whether to place a check mark in front or cross through the item.

For those of you who are looking for an alternative to the dreaded To-Do List, here are two great ideas:

The authors of Ladies Who Launch: Embracing Entrepreneurship & Creativity as a Lifestyle recommend creating a “Loose List.” A Loose List is a series of ideas or actions that can get you moving in the direction of your goals. The ideas are not set in stone, have no specific time frame, and are not listed in any particular order. It’s meant to inspire you. So rather than: “Draft marketing section of business plan,” try “Wear the dress I designed to a party and see what everyone says.”

Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles: How to Get Where You Want to Be describes how to create a “Stop Doing List.” Make the things on your list “policies.” People will respect you more for being clear about what you won’t do.

Some of his “don’t do” policies on a personal level are:

  • We don’t schedule outside social events on Friday night. That is our family night.
  • I don’t discuss contributions over the phone. Send me something in writing.

On a business level some of his “don’t do” policies are:

  • I don’t schedule more than five talks in one month.
  • I don’t do individual counseling or coaching. There is greater leverage in working with a group.

Hmm…That gives me some ideas for two other lists I can keep: “Bev’s Loose List” and “Bev’s Stop Doing List.” One of the first items on my Stop Doing List will be to stop volunteering so often – learn to say “no.” How about you?

Bev McCrostie, M.Ed.
Virtual Assistant Certificate
Red Deer College




One response

12 04 2010
Business Startup Tips: 2 More Lists « Bev McCrostie's Blog

[…] 2010 In a previous post, I provided two alternatives to the To-Do List in building your buisness: the Stop Doing List and a Loose List. Since then in my daily travels, I have come across two more […]

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