Self Development
How To Make Your To Do List Work!

by Ashok Grover
Do you also find some items appearing on your to-do list week after week never getting done? May be the task is a bit too tedious, is lengthy or simply something which is not of your interest. Here is a sure shot method to get such taks off your to-do list!
Latika was quite happy when I told her about the to-do lists and how one can benefitted by using them. She started with a lot of enthusiasm and I was also happy having helped her. A couple of months later, we met at a conference and I could not stop myself from enquiring how the things were going and how much this new habit had really been helpful. I was surprised to hear that a big part of her to-do list had become a kind of permanent feature going repeatedly through copy-paste ritual.

Do you also find some items appearing on your to-do list week after week never getting done? Quite likely, these are the items that fall into the category of "important but not urgent?"

Just think what is the cause of it. May be the task is a bit too tedious, is lengthy or simply something which is not of your interest. If you can really manage without doing it (meaning it is not important), it is okay. The best option in that case will be to drop it altogether. But, if that leads to some adverse reaction and you are the loser in terms of your credibility, loss of business or the long-awaited promotion at work, you will not like to land into such situation. However, in spite of all these reasons, if you are not able to take it up because of the reasons cited above, I will share with you a sure shot method to complete the task.

Here is the recipe!

You will have to take a soft decision to give this task just 15 minutes in your daily schedule of 24 hours. This has to be supplemented with a tough decision that you will stick to this 15 minute schedule - no less and no more! Certainly not a big deal! Now, you can expect to see the hidden power in this resolution. Consider the following:

On the first day, spend 15 minutes on this task sincerely and stop. It might have been a little tough and may be painful; but force it on yourself and bear the pain. Alternatively, you might experience some interest and may like to continue beyond the allotted time of 15 minutes. Don't do it. Respect your schedule. If you really feel the interest, plan 30 minutes for next day. And again, stick to it sincerely - just 30 minutes, nothing less and nothing more.

Till you have that kind of pressing interest emerging, schedule only for 15 minutes every day religiously. There can be only two possibilities after that. One, you will get interested, start seeing the value in it and switch to allocate more time. No problem, do it by all means. In the second alternative, you will be giving only 15 minutes to this task every day. Certainly, you would be doing something during those 15 minutes, even though at a snail's pace.

In both the scenarios, you will keep on moving towards your desired goal and achieve it - the only difference being - sooner or later!

Try it and see for yourself!
Ashok Grover is an expert in people assessment and focused executive / leadership coaching. He is Director at Skillscape, a company with a vision of Value Creation by enhancing people and organizational competencies.

His last assignment was with the JBM Group as Corporate Chief Human Resource Officer. He has four decades of experience in operations, materials, information technology and people development with Parle Group, Mohan Meakins Group, Hawkins Cookers Limited and JBM Group.