Don’t you hate those soul-sucking items on your to-do list that never get crossed off?
These mini guilt trips taunt you with their very existence as they roll over week to week, month to month, year to year.
At the end of last year I had loads of them.
And (brag alert) now? I have NONE.
What’s my secret?
Is it a new 4am morning routine with a cold shower, green juice and crystal healing? Nope.
Have I cloned myself so an army of Kims can power through my list? I wish.
Did I decide that they weren’t important after all? Ok, maybe a few.
But a realisation made the biggest difference.
I realised that the tasks that I never got round to were the ones which didn’t have a clear next step.
- Get more case studies
- Revamp website
- Sort accounts
…that were both vague and daunting. Wishy washy and intimidating. Not exactly an attractive combo.
So I broke each one down to focus just one small next step to get me started.
The new list looked like this:
- Email Client X to ask if they will do case study
- Arrange a meeting with Sophie, graphic designer
- Call Quickbooks to ask about invoicing template
And guess what? They were all ticked off in the first week of January and now I’m on to the third or fourth action for each of them – more progress than I’ve made in 6 months.
Why am I telling you this? It’s a great technique not only to get yourself to do things, but also to get other people to.
Have you ever wondered why someone hasn’t got back to you or done what you asked them to do?
Well, it’s likely that you haven’t make the next step easy. There’s no clear path ahead. No specific call-to-action.
Or it might have sounded big or difficult for them to action. Or they didn’t know what to do first out of a list of things.
So if you want someone to do something, make the next step easy, small and clear.