Attacking Your To-Do List Mountain

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If you’re anything like me, any time you get into the office there’s a mountain of stuff waiting for you that needs to get done. Whether it’s an inbox full of unread emails, getting your practice plan ready, meeting with players, or the myriad of other things you have going on; there are just so many things to do. I don’t know about you, but for a long time, I didn’t handle these situations very well.

Recently I read a book titled: Make Your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven, and one of his main points really jumped out to me. In the book, he talks about the impact of accomplishing the first thing of your day. For him, it was making his bed. While making your bed may seem like a little thing, it allowed him to start the day with a win. Instead of focusing on the overwhelming number of items on his to-do list, he was able to lock in on getting things checked off. 

I know many times I’ve found myself in my office, facing that seemingly insurmountable list of to-do items, feeling overwhelmed with the thought “What do I do?” Now, thanks to Admiral McRaven, I have a better question to ask myself – “Where am I going to start?” 

I start with the first thing. Just the first thing and nothing else.

When I’m finished, I move on to the second thing.

After that? The third one.

And I continue that process as I climb the mountain of to-dos.

Often we get so overwhelmed that we don’t get anything done. Or we’re really slow to get things done. Some days it doesn’t matter how hard we work, we’re not going to finish everything. But even on those days, it’s still important to do something and push the ball forward. 

What’s the one thing you’re doing to start your day with a win? For you, it might not be making your bed, but it needs to be something. When we start the day with a sense of accomplishment, it sets the tone for the rest of our day. When you get to the office, keep the momentum going. Don’t hesitate. Jump in and complete something.

You might not get everything done that day, but you’ll be happy you kept the ball rolling. Before you know it, that mountain won’t look so insurmountable anymore. 

Let me end with this challenge. As you’re thinking about your team and their needs, decide on your one thing. Get that done and it will lead to your second thing. That’s where the power is. Every day keep the first thing first and allow everything else to fall in line after that. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

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