Skip The “To Do” List

If you didn’t get to read the post prior to this one, then take a second to read it. This post is an addition to the previous. I was painting the trim on the front porch this afternoon while listening to Anthony Robbins, a motivational speaker, on my Ipod. It was great stuff that I thought others could benefit from hearing.

He talks about focusing on what it is that you want in life and the results you want and not on what you have to do. He says, “Stop focusing on the “to do’s”, because it will drive you nuts. It will just make you stressed. You can accomplish everything on your to do list and still not accomplish anything meaningful. It’s the classic example of mistaking movement for achievement. You shouldn’t want to settle for something that isn’t achievement for your life, your standards, values, or for what our desire most. It happens with the typical soccer mom all the time who is trying to get everything done. They’ve got their massive to do list, which includes shopping, soccer games, ballet practice, laundry, cooking dinner and so on. They become so focused on the to do list that they forget the desired outcome. They have forgotten what it is that they really want. What they probably want is to have quality time with their kids, to enjoy them, to shape their values. Also, to be with their spouse, and have a great marriage as well as time for themselves. We get so caught up on the to do list that we don’t have a life anymore. The most successful people don’t have a to do list as their primary way of life. They know what they have to get done, but it’s not nearly as important as the question they ask themselves, what is it that I really want?

He talks about RPM. “R” meaning the Result you want. “P” stands for purpose when you figure out the purpose you know the reason you are doing it. It gives you drive. Purpose is power. “M” stands for  map. What is you massive life plan? What specific actions do I need to take to get the results I want?”


In my last post I mentioned how I felt it was important to figure out your priorities before you goals or schedule could be written. If all you do in life is get things done and live by a schedule then you forget about what matters. For me having a solid relationship with God,  Doug, my girls, and my  family and friend is very important. Also, maintaining our home, so we have a nice place to live, maintaining time for me, and getting a nursing degree  are other things that I want. So everyday I have to remember those things and focus on them instead of just a bunch of “to do’s”. Things still have to get done, but when you focus on what you want, you feel more fulfilled and actually achieve your goals.


Another really great thing Anthony Robbins said was to focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want. Many people spend time avoiding situations or things that have to be done because they are focusing on what they don’t want to do. For example they may say “ I really hate cleaning and don’t want to do it” If they said “I always feel so much better in a clean house. I want a relaxing, organized environment for me and my family to live in” then it may make cleaning a little easier. Ask yourself, “ what is my desired outcome, what do I want”? Focus on wanting an amazing relationship with your husband, instead of focusing on all the problems you may have. Inevitably you will get what you focus on. He uses a great illustration when he talks about skidding out of control in a car while driving down a highway. When you are skidding out of control often times you might think, “Don’t hit the pole. Don’t hit the pole”. Usually if that is what you are focusing on, than you hit the pole even though there is only one pole every 1/4 of a mile. Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear or don’t want.

He also talks about chunking your life into categories so that you can figure out what it is you want in each area of your life. Then set goals and an action plan in each department. That is where I think mind mapping (see previous post for details on mind map and link) is very helpful.


I really like his whole audio program “Personal Power” by Anthony Robbins and suggest purchasing it.


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