“Never memorise anything you can look up
If you ever have a week or two to spare and decide to venture onto Pinterest, you’ll find lots of beautiful visual inspiration for creating a detailed vision board for your business goals, and also learn how to build the perfect (footnoted) to-do list to help you realise them. By the way, Pinterest will also make you want to lose weight, redecorate your entire house, declutter your wardrobe, make soup from your own vegetable garden, detox, and leave your husband – but more on that later….
Keeping your eyes on the goal
I am a big believer in writing things down, and I need a well-organized “to-do” list to survive. Not having one makes me nervous. I am a visual person – for example, I can only remember a phone number by visualizing it as an image in my mind (always in a Baskerville font, in case you’re interested). Perhaps the act of writing and creating an imprintable visual memory makes sense for me, more than others. But I know that things don’t seem to fully register or begin to be solved in my head, unless I’ve written them down and organized them. Not only can I see them fully and add the various considerations around that task or goal, but I can also see that task against the landscape of the other things I have going on – and this helps me prioritize it as well.
I do also love the satisfying check box or strike-through at the end of a busy day when I’ve completed many things from the list. There’s a lot to be said for acknowledging our accomplishments and activities through the day, instead of always thinking of what’s still to be done….
Make it Appealing
I love beautiful leather-bound notebooks, and buy them from TK Maxx all the time, but the system I use most often is more functional than beautiful. I have a big A4-sized notebook with perforated pages which I can easily rip out, and with dividers for lots of sections. I have one section for each client or project I am involved with, and a couple of additional sections at the back for my own strategic planning, and for my personal life planning. When I speak with a client, or work on an account at my desk, I flip to that section in my notebook and add the latest ideas/thoughts/information/
What works for me
My to-do system is a bit quirky, but it’s been developed over 20+ years and it works for me. Whatever your own system looks like, you definitely need to have one, and it needs to work equally well for you. It needs to be efficient, and thorough, and scalable, with no room for things falling between the cracks. We Entrepreneurs cannot keep things in our heads anymore. It’s just not efficient. It’s a waste of valuable brainpower, which is better spent on strategic thinking. I (and you) need to leave room in our heads for our new ideas to sprout and grow.