The To Do List

Hipstamatic'12 - TDL
In my previous two-blog posts I have started to outline my process of Personal Continuous Improvement. If you haven’t already read them, then I urge you to read The Thinking Journal and The Thinking Journal Weekly Round Up before you go any further. When you have done that, get back here pronto, because I want to explain about the next stage in my process – the To Do List.

Think on Paper – Brian Tracy

In my blog post Five Top Tips For Capturing Ideas I touched upon the recording of ideas and actions. As I explained in that post, once you make a decision to change your life – become a Daydreamer – the floodgates open and the ideas come flowing through. One of my tips was to use an app called Wunderlist for recording all of these ideas in one manageable place. In fact on my Wunderlist programme I have 35 different categories where I store my ideas. These ideas form my To Do List and here is an example from my life…

I can lose my temper very easily and in the past week I have done so on numerous occasions. With the aid of daily affirmations I am getting much better, but I really want to be able to recognise my anger related thoughts earlier in the process, so I can avoid the emotion of anger taking control. I wrote an action to try and work on dispelling anger when I feel the associated thoughts enter my mind. I placed this action in two different lists, the first was a Therapy list (things to discuss with my therapist) and the second was my Things to Buy list (to try and find a book for self education).

One of the very worse uses of time is to do something very well that need not be done at all – Brian Tracy

Whether I am reading one of my 52 Books in 52 Weeks, reading another inspirational blog, surfing the web or just daydreaming I will always need somewhere to collate all of my actions. You don’t need to use an app though. Simple pen and paper will do, as long as you don’t lose sight of the most important issue – to record action. If you were to try and remember all of these actions you will inevitably forget, especially if your mind is regularly awash with good ideas.

So I have 35 separate lists that all combine to create one single To Do List consisting of hundreds of actions. I have one simple rule when it comes to taking action and that is never do anything that is not on my To Do List. But with hundreds of actions to take how do I know which one to tackle first? Well that’s a story for another time entirely.


This blog post has been written as part of my personal continuous improvement series. When I initially started writing The Thinking Journal I never envisaged a series, but once I started writing I realised that there are so many small steps that I take each day in order to move forward very quickly. The To Do List is one of those little steps.

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