Happy Monday. I feel like this is the perfect Monday morning post to read and hopefully, it will get you excited and motivated for the week to come. Today I’m sharing some #tbt images with you all as the weather hasn’t been coroprating with our recent photoshoot schedule. But we are just going to roll with it, and sit down with you all to talk about the one skill you need to master to turn your side hustle into a successful business, so pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and take notes. When push comes to shove running your own flourishing blog, brand or even life comes down to being able to effectively create and manage a to-do. It’s honestly as simple as that, think I’m wrong? Well, below we will dive into why it’s important to implement to-do lists within your business and how to create an optimized to-do list of your own.
I know what you’re thinking, Aubrey, you’re putting way too much weight on a silly to-do list, but give it a chance, and stay with me. A classic handwritten to-do list is how I’ve not only successfully learned to manage myself, but also each member of the TCC Crew, and it’s been a game changer when it comes to our performance, communication and meeting brand timelines. If that hasn’t sold you on creating a to-do list of your own, here are specific examples of why you should.
+ My Unpopular viewpoint on goals: Goals are the first step in turning your idea into a business but don’t stop at the first step. I’ve been blogging for over five years now and in that timespan, I’ve seen so many acquaintances start blogs and brands, to only quickly abandon them within the first year. I’m very transparent about how slow growth can seem in the digital space. Yes going viral overnight and waking up to millions of subscribers is #goals but it isn’t realistic. If you are serious about taking your passion project into something more you really need to set up systems, aka goal based to-do lists. Goals just don’t happen, recognizing the endpoint is important, but to accomplish the goal you actually need to put in hard work. Whenever our crew comes up with a goal we make a to-do list to support it. The to-do list usually includes three to seven steps we need to take to reach that goal. Without our to-do lists, our goals would honestly be less likely to accomplish due to the fact that goals can seem overwhelming or impossible at times. Which brings me to my next point.
+ Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” —Newt Gingrich: I mean that quote basically sums it up. When you are trying to launch a new brand, business or trying to finish college with a four-year degree on time; at some point in your journey, you are going to feel overwhelmed with all that has to get done and the amount of work on your plate. This is where to-do lists really come in handy. When you are a student or self-employed you are single handily in charge of managing yourself and meeting your deadlines. No one is telling you how to spend your time, which is a blessing and a curse. You could work all day and binge The Crown at night or you could sleep all day and work all night; it doesn’t matter when you do the work it just has to get done. This is something I thrive on but it also means I’m responsible for making sure I have all my deliverables ready for multiple deadlines, that can get overwhelming at times. To-do lists help me stay on track and work as a buffer to my deadlines. I make sure to complete everything listed on my to-do list within the day before clocking out. No excuses! I stop working when my to-do list is done for better or for worse.
+ Accountability: Finally I share my to-do list with my entire TCC Crew and their to-do lists with each other, for a few important reasons. My favorite part about to-do lists is the simple fact that either you did the task or you didn’t do it. No excuses. It makes tasks black and white while holding everyone accountable for their part in completing a goal. Together we revisit our to-do lists, as a crew, weekly and break down what we completed and what we didn’t. Being accountable to my crew, sharing the list with your friends, mom, sisters, whoever; makes your to-do list a done list quicker than you would think.
Okay so if you have something you really want to accomplish first sit down and write down your goals followed by a goal system to-do list. Trust me when I say, this will make all the difference in not only making your goals a reality but also seeing results in real time instead of expecting all your goals to be accomplished overnight. Now let’s jump into how I create my to-do lists.
+ Write It Down: Recently I’ve stumbled upon this productivity planner, which actually inspired me to write this post. Now normally I would use this exact system within a dollar store notepad, I try not to spend too much money on notebooks as I often lose them, but I decided to splurge on the planner in hopes of inspiring you all to get your to-do lists in check. First and foremost, writing down your goals is really important to actually achieve them. I mean who hasn’t ended up on Facebook after opening up their computer to do a specific task. By writing down your goals and keeping the notepad visible throughout your day helps you regain focus when focus has been lost.
+ Ranking Tasks: I love this productivity planner because it ranks tasks in order of importance. This organizing system has helped my to-do list become at least twice as efficient as before. Naturally, you want to get the easy tasks done with first, for instance, writing next week’s blog posts are always on my weekly to-do list but they aren’t necessarily something I need to tackle first in order to move my business forward. I mean, I know I’ll get them done but do they need to be completed bright and early on Monday morning? Not really. Take time to prioritize your tasks and tackle harder tasks earlier in the week helps me keep up the blog’s momentum and also gives me extra time if my first tactic to completing the task fails.
+ Reflection: It is super important at the end of the week to reflect on your to-do lists/goals. Did you not check something off of your list because you didn’t try? Or because the tactic you were using to accomplish that goal failed? It’s important to reflect and pivot your to-do list in order to keep yourself aware and in charge of your goals. If there’s a will there’s a way right!
Ending on that note, I’m off. Matt and I are currently in Costa Rica, so make sure to follow along with our adventures over on Instagram. Oh and you bet I brought my to-do list book to Costa Rica, I love working while traveling, I always think of the best ideas…am I the only one? Anyway, leave a comment below if you love or hate to-do lists. I’m interested to hear what you guys think of them and have a great week.
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