This article first appeared September 30, 2011.
Plenty of entrepreneurs I know are list makers.
They make lists of the things they are going to do when they make their first million.
They make lists of the places they are going to head to for holidays.
And most of all, they make to-do lists – lots and lots and lots of to-do lists, usually at least one a week and quite often one a day.
Those lists are great – except that there are a few items that always don’t get ticked off, which is natural, because there are only so many hours in the day and entrepreneurs are busy.
But what happens when an item on the to-do list gets put off over and over again?
It might be something simple – an administrative task perhaps – but it’s such a low priority that it keeps on not getting done.
Peter Bregman, author of a book called 18 MINUTES: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done, argues that this is silly and says that its driven by something he calls FOMO or Fear of Missing Opportunities.
We keep putting things on the list knowing we should do them but knowing that they never will get done and that keeps happening until our to-do list gets to clogged up that we lose sight important things we absolutely need to do.
He’s got a three-day rule – if the task is not done in three days cross it off the list, give it to someone else to do or forget about it. I can’t be that important and it could be a distraction.
Nice idea. Get it done – today!