What if there was a way to get a lot of tasks done with just a little effort? This is how an entrepreneur to-do list helps many business owners.
But there’s been some pushback and criticism from some business owners about to-do lists. So, who’s right?
There are many reasons for having to-do lists. But first, let’s look at a few common reasons for why some people don’t use them.
Some Problems with an entrepreneur to-do list
First, let’s look at three popular reasons why some entrepreneurs don’t like to-do lists.
1) To-do lists kill flexibility.
An entrepreneur to-do list can seem like a buzzkill, especially if you love to be creative and/or spontaneous. Who wants to be limited to a specific list of tasks during a day, right?
You get to choose your actions when you make a to-do list. Also, seeing these actions on a piece of paper or in a phone app boosts the chances of you spending your time the way you want to.
2) You have a great memory, so you don’t need an entrepreneur to-do list.
It may be easy for you to remember what you have to do during a typical day, especially if there are only a few things that definitely need to be done. But what if you’re working on a big project with a lot of smaller tasks to steps that need to be completed? Or what if you’re trying to deal with more than one project?
An entrepreneur to-do list can help one big project, or dealing with multiple projects at the same time, easier to handle by helping focus on a few tasks during a day.
3) You never finish to-do lists, anyway.
Maybe you’ve made to-do lists only to find one (or more) items that weren’t done by the end of the day. Seeing a list like this can feel discouraging. But you’re not the problem.
The problem is that many people overestimate what they can get done during a day. And there’s a simple way to fix this problem.
Prioritize your entrepreneur to-do list. Focus on just one or a few items that need to be finished sooner rather than later. If you complete this group of important items, you can then move onto less urgent items on your to-do list that need to be completed eventually.
How an entrepreneur to-do list can help you
Here are some great reasons for having a to-do list.
- Boost your mood.
A lot of times, doing work really is its own reward. There are two ways that an entrepreneur to-do list can make you feel great.
- Less stress: Do you ever feel like your mind is just swirling with a million things you have to do for your business, your homework, or your other regular activities? An entrepreneur to-do list gets those overwhelming thoughts out of your head and onto an app, or piece of paper, so you can focus more on what you’re doing now.
- Feel more productive: Seeing items get checked or crossed off your entrepreneur to-do list is an easy way to feel like you’re getting things done. It’s also a great motivator to keep moving forward and finish more tasks that help your business.
- Make your big goals happen.
Your entreprenuer to-do list won’t, and doesn’t have to be, perfect. It just needs to help you plan.
How can a to-do list help with big plans? Here are a few ways:
- Makes goals easier: A daily and/or weekly to-do list can help break a big goal into smaller tasks and activities. And smaller items on an entrepreneur to-do list are much more likely to get done, because they feel easier to finish.
- Helps you prioritize: A to-do list helps you see which activities and tasks are most important and need to be done more quickly, compared to other items on your list.
- Learn how to work smarter, not harder: Looking back at a completed (and even a partially done) list can show you which list items gave your business the best results. You can then focus more on these activities to help your business grow.
- Save time.
The famous inventor/politician Benjamin Franklin once said: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Sometimes a small amount of effort can lead to big results and benefits. Similarly, even a little planning with an entrepreneur to-do list can save you a lot of time. A to-do list shows you what needs to be done and when you can complete your list items.
That’s much better than not having a list, which can cause you to waste time by getting distracted with less productive activities, or by just keeping ideas or tasks in your head instead of doing them.
- Avoid ghosting and get a good reputation.
No one likes to be ghosted, especially your customers and/or online followers. For example, if you’re selling products or services, your customers expect to receive these items in a timely manner.
Or if you’re building your business with blog posts, podcasts, YouTube or other social media sites, your followers expect you to give them great content consistently on a daily, or them on a weekly or daily basis.
A to-do list makes you look good in front of your customers and followers in a few ways:
- Boosts your creativity: Creative entrepreneurs might think having a to-do list seems limiting or restricting. The truth? To-do lists help you remember what needs to be done to help your business succeed. This frees up your brain’s memory (somewhat similar to freeing up memory usage on a laptop), which makes your mind more able to focus on getting new ideas and creating new products or services.
- Keep your promises: To-do lists help you keep deadlines. This includes your personal deadlines for business goals and projects as well as deadlines for delivery products, services and online content to your customers/followers.
- Helps you to just say “No.” More people will start asking for your help or expertise as your business grows. Having an entrepreneur to-do list will help you know when you have time to take on one more activity and when you’re already busy and have to politely say no to certain requests or offers.
Final Thoughts on Having an Entrepreneur To-Do List
You might feel like you have so many things to do, and yet so little time to get things done. This leaves some young entrepreneurs feeling overwhelmed and/or distracted.
Common questions and/or skepticism about needing a to-do list are understandable. On the other hand, there are major perks. A entrepreneur to-do list can:
- Make you feel great
- Turn big goals into reality
- Save time
- Keep your customers/followers happy
These are just some ways that having a to-do list makes it a lot easier for you to start, and continue growing, a successful business.