Smaller Default Larger


The first article in this series listed more than 25 tactics to increase your business success, all of them based on my experience.

I started with nothing and didn’t attend college, so I know you can achieve maximum success, regardless of your education.

Are you a list maker? Try not to make too much fun of the person with a bunch of lists! Many studies have concluded that successful people make lots of lists.

Here are some kinds of lists you should make to be more productive:

•Daily to do list – Yes, it may be almost the same as yesterday’s list, but it refocuses and reprioritizes your day. Sometimes. I even put the amount of time by each item that I think it will take, so I have an idea how realistic the list is. Sometimes, I number item on the list or color code them, for priority. If I have a stick-in-the-spokes deadline, I circle it or make sure it’s first in line. As I work through the list, I even remind myself that can’t go to lunch until I do that hot item. Yes, I give myself rewards. Another article in the series talks about doing the hardest or most distasteful stuff first, a good technique when you can reshuffle because it lets you face the hard stuff with peak energy.
•A master to do list – The dream list, everything but the kitchen sink. Things like working on my will. Who wants to do that? But you do have to get to it eventually, so having it on a master list makes me think about it.
•My MBWA list – Manage-by-walking-around list. I keep it in my phone. People think “Jeez, he never misses anything!” No I’m not smarter and my memory isn’t any better than most, but I write it all down. When I remember something I need to do or handle, I put it on that list.
•E-mail List – I have an app on my phone, that with one button e-mails me. If I recall something I need to do, I e-mail myself. This in conjunction with my policy of never deleting an e-mail until it’s handled gets things done. You young’uns will want to text yourself, but you’re unlikely to refer to texts to recall stuff you need to get done.
•Outlook List – No, I guess it’s not really a list. I use Microsoft Outlook’s calendar to put reminders. When did you last change the batteries in your smoke detectors? When is your next oil change? When was your air compressor serviced? What about that loan maturity in 5 years? Will you wait until the bank notifies you, or start working on it 6 months in advance because it was in your reminders? And silly me, sometimes I snap a picture of the calendar item and e-mail it to myself. That assures it’s handled. More often than not, these items will be delegated via e-mail, when I get to them in my inbox the next day.

The list of my lists goes on and on. I break big jobs into smaller steps, which are in a list. I am writing this article because it’s in a list of articles that I keep adding to when I think of a topic. And I know you love your computer and Excel, but sometimes a good old #2 pencil and a big chief tablet are still the best way to get a list going. Or Post-It notes! If you wait until you are in front of your computer to add to a list, you forget half of it.

Published in the January 2018 Edition of American Recycler News