Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Daily list

     Free daily tips, information and advice for people in small business
     from someone who has been there, done that in several small operations.

     It began many years ago when I was in college. To pay my way, I always had two or three part time jobs. Meetings and writing deadlines kept be on my toes (I was editor of my college newspaper.) And then there was the class schedule--if it's Tuesday, it must be organic chemistry and economics. 

     At some point during those four years, I began keeping a daily list of things to be done. During the day, I would jot down the things that were waiting to be done and other items that could be put off to tomorrow. I kept the list handy--in my pocket with me at all times. 

     My daily list was very helpful. I came to depend on it. I didn't have to clutter up my day thinking (worrying) about the things I had not yet accomplished. I simply consulted my list.

     Keeping a daily list organizes you. It frees up your thinking so you can concentrate on other things--like being creative, dreaming, planning, thinking through the ideas that arise. The daily grind of meeting schedules becomes the responsibility of the list.

     Joining corporate America after college, my daily list grew. It then included items with a star beside the entry. Stars meant importance. Notations with stars had priority--they must be done that day. Items with stars were prioritized--1, 2, 3, etc.

     Leaving corporate America to set up my first business, my list expanded considerably. And it took on a new tone. Meet with the banker. Follow up with my best customer. Update my insurance coverage. Order supplies. Interview a prospective employee. Clean up the storage room and take out the trash.

     My daily lists have always included little items alongside the big items. Items go on the list as they occur to me. I have found it amazing what can be accomplished by using the list. It's a way of forward thinking, and, at the same time, it grounds me solidly in today's activities.

     My list relieves me of constantly worrying about things to be done. It's a way of walking myself into the future in an organized way. Several times each day, I take out my list, check off those things that have been done, and add more as I think of them.

     Over the years, my daily list has become a game, a source of satisfaction, and a record of things accomplished. This in itself speaks to the value of the daily list--the date I bought the car, the date I signed the lease, the date I wrote up a plan for a new business venture.

     Get the crap out of your head and onto a daily list. You'll find you have more free time to think about the important stuff.

     Questions? I retired when I was 75. You can email me at AlWarr16@gmail.com with your questions. Put BLOG in the subject line. You get quick answers from my 40+ years experience founding and growing small businesses. Your privacy is always respected.  

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