Top 3 Reasons Your To-Do List Does Not Get Done!


It’s Monday morning. You are starting your week and staring at your to-do list. (You do have a to-do list don’t you??) If not, put making one at the top of your list.

You look at the items on your list and you think:

A.    Sweet, look at all these great things I have to accomplish today. I am really going to enjoy and feel great accomplishing all this wonderful stuff!
B.    Hmmmm, this stuff was on my list last week and I did not get it done. Maybe I will get it done this week.
C.    Golly Gee, where did all these things come from, and who made this list? I don’t remember any of these things!
D.    No way I will ever get all this done! I may as well

  • Go watch TV
  • See what’s in the fridge.
  • Go play in the ___________ (your favorite distraction entered here)

 E.    B,C & D.

If like most, you selected B, C , D or E, you are not alone. In my experience working with clients I have found that for most of us, a to do list is a to-do in and of itself! Frustrating!

If you selected A, you can stop reading and get to work on your list!, or feel free to read along with the rest of us!

Ok, for those of you still reading, here is what I have discovered:

Top reasons To-Do lists do not work:

  1. You put things on your list you just do not want to do!
  2. Your list is a mish-mash of too many item requiring a behavior change in too many areas to accomplish.
  3. You have no drive to get the items done!

My approach to making all this work is as follows:

  1. Put aside some time, at least 15 -30 minutes where you can sit quietly, comfortably, and not be interrupted!
  2. Imagine yourself 90 days from now (I find this is a workable time increment, but change it if you must)
  3. Pick one area of your life, work, personal, relationship etc.
  4. Think about a result that if achieved, would leave you feeling really amazing! You can imagine it, feel it, put yourself in the place of having accomplished it!  (Make sure it is a SMART goal)
  5. Take 5 minutes to write a note to yourself about this goal/vision and how it will feel. Why it is important, why it will make a difference. Keep it short, to the point and simple.
  6. Now re-read your goal.  Still feel good? Then you got it. If not, re start at #3 above.
  7. Now, with your goal/vision in mind, on a separate sheet of paper work backwards and write down the steps you need to take to achieve the goal.
  8. Keep the “to do list” and the vision list separate!
    1. You want to read your vision daily, before you look at your to do list.
    2. Then let the vision drive the selection of your action tasks for the day!

This is a simplified version of the methodology I offer in “The CEO of your Life” class. based on the book, “If your Life were a Business, would You invest in it?”.

This complete class is now offered via self paced, online access. If you would like free access to this class, just follow this link.

If you would like to explore creating some of these results for yourself, feel free to use my online schedule to set a time for us to talk.


Jerry Bergner

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *