He Makes a List and Checks It Twice

Want a tip that will increase your effectiveness at work, at home, at church? It will make you more focused, so you can concentrate on the important things.

There is a story from more than 50 years ago about a man who ran a large company. But he never felt like he was working on the important things. He always felt he was behind.

A management consultant visited one day to inquire about how he could help the executive. “If you could help me gain control of my agenda and my day, I’ll pay you whatever you ask within reason,” the executive answered.

Get out a piece of paper, the consultant ordered. Write down the tasks that need to be done. Now circle the most important task and work on it until it’s done. Then do the same thing with the next most important task. If you don’t get the entire list done, that’s OK, since you’ve completed the most important tasks.

Do you make lists? One of my favorite authors, Umberto Eco, wrote an entire book about lists.

Develop a habit of making lists.

  1. Stuff to buy the next time you’re at the store
  2. Things to fix around the house
  3. Reports to write
  4. Books to read
  5. Calls to make
  6. People to pray for

Since I am a geek, I use an application called Nozbe to manage my lists. It is based on the book Getting Things Done by David Allen. But pen and paper works, too.

Well, I can check another thing off my list!

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