More than 250 years ago, Benjamin Franklin wrote in his book The Way To Wealth: “One today is worth two tomorrows”, and whether you praise his accomplishments or despise his ethically dubious behavior, you can't deny that the phrase is one of the best advices ever given. And even if the words aren't his and he just happened to put them on print does not make them any less valuable, because today is a sure thing but tomorrow might not happen. Stop what you are doing right now and take a few seconds to think about how long your to-do list is getting... how many pending matters can you attend to today?
It's no secret that I follow Ilise Benum's advices down to the last comma. She taught me, among other things, to divide my to-do's in doable tasks and to go at them a little each day by setting up reminders in my calendar to avoid forgetting about them. If you open my calendar you can see that I have events that repeat every week reminding me of the the things that I have to do. For instance, I have setup an alert that reminds me every morning to keep the receipts when I make business purchases, and another one that reminds me every Tuesday that on Wednesday I have to write on my blog. And as improbable as it may sound that I would forget to write on my blog, there are weeks that my diary is so full that if I don't have that reminder it might just happen.
But this technique not only works on simple tasks but also on more complex matters, like my self-promotion. Ilise also taught me how to divide my marketing strategy in daily actions and to setup reminders in my calendar to force me to do them: Mondays are for researching new clients, Tuesdays for approaching them, Thursdays for follow up, and so on.
It doesn't matter what system you use to remind yourself of doing the things that you must, the important thing is to actually do them. So why don't you setup a reminder on your calendar for every pending item on your to-do list this week and see how many things you can accomplish. You might be pleasently surprised.
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