Tips on Getting Organised & What Have You Done For YOU Lately?

by : Scott Foreman

Is there a better, free invention than the 'to-do' list? How many of you use to-do lists? If you're organized and motivated enough to start (or even consider starting) a new business, I'll bet you not only use to-do lists, but have one within arm's length right now. Am I right?

I'll admit that sometimes I get carried away. Don't tell anyone, but I've even put important items on the list that I already completed, just so I could cross them off. Yes, I've earned the right to be laughed at, but I imagine some of you have done the same.

My friend laughed at me the other day because I put 'get gas' on my list. He asked, 'Are you really going to forget that if you don't write it down?' No, of course I won't, but in that moment I was able to articulate why lists are so important to me. Whenever I feel unorganized or even overwhelmed, a to-do list helps me relax. I can see everything that needs to be accomplished, prioritize my time, and decide what can wait for another day. Then, one step at a time allows me to get the big items knocked out first.

All of this talk about lists though is to make a different point entirely. We spend so much of our time thinking about what needs to be done in the future that we forget about the past. 'The past is already gone,' you say. 'Gone, but not forgotten,' is my reply. We have accomplished so much already that sometimes we should remind ourselves how much we really can do when our brains and hearts are in the right place.

When a particularly frustrating day or week rears its ugly head, I offer you a simple and incredibly powerful idea to blow that frustration away. Take out a pen and write four things that you are most proud of in your life. Try to emphasize accomplishments, but anything will do. Maybe it is being a great parent or spouse. Maybe it is starting a successful business. Maybe it is singing karaoke in front of 100 people. Whatever it is, write it down. If you're having difficulty, ask yourself the following:

  • What difficult situations have I gotten through?
  • What have I done that I never thought I could?
  • What actions/decisions have I taken/made that have changed my (or others) life?

What happens when you make an accomplishment list? If you aren't in too much of a hurry, writing down the shining moments of your life can do several favors for you. First, you start to get a little nostalgic and remember those glorious times. We could all stand to wear big smiles more often. Second, you remember that you got through tougher times in your life and so you know for a fact that you can emerge victorious again. Third, you put yourself in a state of resourcefulness. You remember and feel all the effort and ideas that you produced during that time and it gets your brain working. I can almost guarantee that new ideas will pop into your head as you think about past accomplishments.

The beauty about the whole process of recalling your proud moments is that you don't have to psyche yourself up or whip yourself into a positive-thinking frenzy. You're simply remembering what you've already done. You enjoy a nice walk down Memory Lane and merge straight into Opportunity Avenue.

The next time you feel frustrated or discouraged, write your to-do list and get organized. Then get motivated by writing your four biggest achievements in life. Who knows, this time next year you might just be able to update your list with all of your accomplishments of the last 12 months.

Remember, be good to yourself and never underestimate the power associated with the intensity of your passion.