Conquering Your Personal ‘To Do’ List

If you’re like most busy global executives, you often find yourself wondering how your day raced by so quickly, or, contemplating how you just spent another whole week tackling key business objectives without making any progress on your own personal ‘To Do’ List.

Now, whether you have written down your personal priorities and diligently scratched them off one by one is another issue.

The real question is whether you’ve found the time to tackle that subliminal list of things stored near the back of your mind that you’ve told yourself you are committed to achieving but which have simply – and consistently – slipped from your grasp.

Given your schedule – which may include a regular regimen of trips across multiple time zones – it is really no wonder that your brain has been conjuring ideas and innovations that your daily commitments haven’t made room for.

Why is it, that when we find ourselves uninterrupted and perhaps quite relaxed – in an airplane seat, in the shower or perhaps even soon after letting our heads hit the pillow – that our minds start to fill with little reminders of things we ought to do, behaviors we ought to change and habits we need to break?

These things may relate to our immediate business priorities. They may reflect our executive career intentions. They may touch on the unfinished business in our personal or spiritual lives or a desire to help others. Or they may even radiate our desire to spend more time reflecting on where our lives are going and how we can take better control of their directions.

Perhaps far more than others can relate to, we as global executives face a real challenge balancing the requirements of our roles as leaders with the demands of our personal lives.
Each of us shoulders considerable responsibility. Yet there is precious little time for anything that doesn’t relate to the top line or the bottom line of our business. Collectively, we run a high risk for burning out, demanding too much of our bodies and taking ill, or failing to realise what we really intend to do.

Maybe the secret to achieving your personal ‘To Do’ List rests in making it something short of a full list of things that are important to us. Perhaps, given all that is required of us and our respective schedules, achieving what’s most important to us outside the walls of our offices requires us to choose just one key thing ‘To Do’ and seeing our efforts through until we are satisfied we have completed it.

You see, given our penchants for achievement and getting things done might be the exact reasons why so many things – important things to which we don’t seem to have enough time to commit to – consistently linger on our own lists of unfinished business in our work, our careers and our lives.

So before you list out all you wish to realise, start with just one thing. Set a deadline for applying your time and focus to it, and build some time into this week’s diary to focus on it. It might just give you the lift you need to add another important ‘To Do’ item to your list before you are again reminded just how swiftly the hands of time are moving by on all of us.

Copyright © TRANSEARCH International 2016


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