I love planning. I love lists (color-coded is even better). One of the things that keeps me on track is my to-do list. If you’re an obsessive to-do list maker like I am, there’s one thing you should know:
If you aren’t careful, your to-do list can hold you back from really reaching your goals.
Let’s Make Your Mama CEO To-Do List Matter
Take 30 seconds to write down the things on your to-do list. Write down anything from write all new webcopy to buy toilet paper. Put your list aside for a minute.
Now take two minutes to write about what you want to accomplish by the end of the year—and how you want to feel doing it. Picture yourself celebrating reaching your goal. Imagine yourself enjoying your accomplishment or the road to get there.
Next, ask yourself, “What do I need to do to make this happen, what will make the biggest impact on my business/life goal in the next 90 days?”
Now check that to do list. Are you focusing on the most impactful things?
Is your to-do list moving you toward your business goals? Is it helping your reach major family or personal goals? Or could it be doing more?
Create a To-Do List That Moves You Forward
The problem with to-do lists is that they cover the day-to-day stuff that has to get done. Things like dropping the kids off at swim lessons and picking up more coffee (don’t forget that one!) and calling the plumber about the dripping faucet.
Even your business to-dos probably focus heavily on client calls, deadlines, following up with people, invoicing, or other work that you do in your business, not for your business.
To see mama CEO growth, you need regular to-do list items that are for your business.
But how do you do that? How do you mix pick up dog food with needle moving action for your business?
I challenge you to take one step each day that will move your business forward.
At the start of each day, ask yourself that same question; “What is the most impactful thing I can do for my business today?”
It doesn’t have to take long, or be earth shattering. Small items on your to-do list on a regular basis add up to big change. It might be committing to writing down your thoughts for 10 minutes each morning as the the first step in starting that book you’ve been wanting to write. Or maybe it is sending one email to that big-wig you really want to connect with. Or maybe it is intentionally taking time each day to eat lunch. If each day you make one small movement towards the more impactful goals, you.will.get.there.
Need a few more practical tips to help make sure you have time for those impactful things?
Streamline your to-dos
Your list is long. Pack lunches, do drop off, check email, call client, write blog post, get groceries, meet with teacher, schedule dentist appointment, spin class . . . You want to make it shorter and streamline your calendar.
Consolidate or Batch Items
Put like items together.
- If you need to get groceries and pick up supplies for the school project and send a package, lump your errands together.
- Pick a day to pay bills each month.
- Batch write blog posts or do image searches.
Eliminate or Delegate
Ask yourself: Do I really need to do that task? Do I have to do that task?
Can your husband make dinner so you can focus on your opt-in? Can you pick up the kids on Tuesday and ask your friend to pick them up on Thursday? Can you Amazon Prime the toilet paper so you don’t have to go to the store this week?
Or can I just skip that altogether? If you’re used to doing all.the.things, crossing stuff off your list can feel a little scary, but so freeing.
Breakdown to create doable tasks
Things like set up new opt-in or create new course or find 12 guest blogging opportunities may all be things that move your business forward, but they aren’t to do list items. If you don’t create action steps, those items are likely to sit there forever, taking up space in your head and on your list. You feel guilty about not doing them, but waste energy thinking about them, and they don’t get you anywhere. So take a few minutes to break it down.
- Brainstorm the different steps you need to take for your project.
- Assign each a time.
- If you have a step that takes a bigger block of time than you have, break it down more.
- Make sure one of these tasks gets on your list daily.
That task might be setting aside a couple of hours to draft a new Sales page or it might be five minutes to reach out by email to somebody you’d like to chat with about a business idea.
Get All Your To-Dos In One Place
Keeping separate lists for home stuff and business stuff may make your lists feel more manageable, but it can also lead to a false sense of having enough time.
I find keeping one to-do for all parts of my life helps me stay on top as a mama and a CEO—and it makes sure I stay on the to-do list myself.
So, go write your to-do list and make sure you’re taking care of the little things and the little things that add up to big movement in your business.
What are you doing today to make the biggest impact? Go do that now.