To do list

Many years ago when I was studying in the UK, I had a very organised friend who ran his life with his daily list. Before going to sleep, he would compose a list for the following day, beginning with ‘get up’, followed by all the things he wanted to achieve that day, carrying forward any that were still outstanding. 

This friend became one of my very best buddies, and after university we bought a property together in London. His lists became legendary – they would include ‘eat’, ‘shave’, ‘shower’ and ‘buy food’.

To be honest, he would never have forgotten to do these things (although he did sometimes get up very late), but he loved the satisfaction of crossing items that he had done off his list. It made him feel good.

He would scribble his appointments down on his list, and he was never late. The danger was that if his meetings were not on his list, he would forget them completely. He would also put some objectives on his list, whether it be finishing a piece of work, fixing something that was damaged, phoning his mother to talk about future plans, or trying to arrange a date with a girl he liked the look of. More than that, he would add notes to remind him to study an idea that could maybe get him a promotion, or to help out a colleague at work.

Muscat Daily recently carried an article by Richard Branson in which he revealed that he has always lived his life by making lists. He makes lists of people to call, ideas, companies to set up, people who can make things happen, topics to blog about, upcoming plans, and tweets to tweet.


He carries a notebook around with him everywhere he goes, and likes to create lists so that he can make his tasks more manageable and lighten his workload. He includes short-term day-by-day goals and makes his tasks measurable so that he can quickly figure out if they are working or not.


The article revealed that, ‘If I hadn’t written down to start a space (exploration) company called Virgin Galactic in my notebook many years ago, it would - quite literally - never have got off the ground.’


Management will often write a shopping list, but then invariably leaves it in the kitchen rather than taking it with her to the supermarket. Her explanation is that it doesn’t really matter what is on the list, because the items she wants are often not in the shops anyway, so why bother! I do write lists but mine are nearly always work related, so that I minimise my chances of forgetting something important that a client has asked me for.

I wonder how many of you write lists? I do wish the people I telephone here would write it on their list to remind them to call back. It would also be good if those who promised to do something by a fixed date would write that date down and look at it each day until the task was finished.

I find the lack of follow up sometimes very difficult to handle, particularly when I am the customer. After all, it is not just a good business practice to look after customers; it is really just a common courtesy to our fellow man. 

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