to do listsMany of the experts who teach goal achievement will tell you to write out To-Do Lists.

Often, this strategy for focusing on action items include To-Do Lists written out the night before, with specific results and check-mark box rewards. Have you ever seen an increase in your productivity with the use of this kind of list?

To-do lists are often involved when I coach my clients. When I teach SMART goal setting, I help my clients learn the importance of Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely elements of goal work. All of the planning and thinking efforts surrounding this strategy not only increase the good results, but also increase a person’s motivation to follow-through on a consistent basis into the future.

“Do you ever experience the fatigue that comes from setting ambitious goals and all the action items that are attached to those goals?” Coach Georgianne

Knowing the strategies involved in goal achievement is very helpful, but sometimes, even as a goal expert, I just get run down regarding the goals in my own life. I have observed that this is when many people start finding distractions that will help them side-step the action items on the current To-Do List. One of my favorite ways to distract myself is playing solitaire on my smart phone! I pretend that those who observe me doing this think that I am answering high-level emails, or closing lucrative publishing deals as I type away on my phone. While both those things are possible, it’s not likely at 3pm while I pour myself a cup of tea. Now I’ve just confessed, so here is a bit more.

to-do listsDuring a recent such mental health break from the go-go energy of the day, it dawned on me that there was something to learn from this little computerized game I was hiding behind. It has a special feature that I’d love to be able to incorporate into my busy life.

Have you ever played solitaire on your phone and toward the end of the game, when all the cards have been played properly, you are given the option of hitting the “Auto-Complete” button? Wouldn’t it be great if this kind of magic applied to other parts of life?

Imagine yourself about three weeks into a large home improvement project, and you have already made three dozen calls to all the right people and crossed off your To-Do Lists after completing all the right actions–but the project is still a few weeks from completion. Wouldn’t it be great to be offered the option of hitting the Auto-Complete button? Like a magic wand or the Easy Button, our lives would be streamlined if we could all change the goal-achievement process to include an auto-complete feature that comes into play after 90% of the actions had been taken.

The closest thing I can think of to this magical button would be mastering the fine art of delegation. That’s another solution to the fatigue I often feel when an ambitious project runs a bit long for my energy. It often sounds something like, “Honey! Could you give me a hand in here? Will you help me write out our To-Do Lists for tomorrow?” Smart.