Career Stalled? What You’re Doing Wrong

Ever feel… stuck? Wheels spinning? Frustrated because you were desperate to move forward in your career, but were too busy trying to bring in the bucks?

Yeah. That does sound familiar.

Last week, I was feeling overwhelmed by everything on my plate, so I drew up a to-do list on GQueues. Later on, my pal Nicole came over to talk shop. She wanted to pick my brain about products blogging, online shopping, and what different brands are doing right. (Obviously, she came to me because I used to be a products blogger… and because I’m also the poster child for shopping problems.) After plying me with a massive bottle of Chianti, and taking notes, she took a look at my to-do list and determined that it was all wrong.

I sputtered that I was doing this to pay the bills… and that to get my condo sold… and that other thing because, well, it just seemed like a good idea. She shushed me. Then she asked:

Where do you want to be a year from now?

I answered without hesitation: “I want to be making a living from my coaching practice.”

She moved different items around on my to-do list, and finally pronounced it Good. While she had left the bill-paying item at the top, she had immediately followed that with everything related to building up my coaching practice: “Draw up outline of content to include in Word Nerd newsletter.”; “Continue working on Job Hopping for Word Nerds.”; “Draw up curriculum plan for e-course.” (She also told me to get more active on Facebook and LinkedIn, for the love of god.) Basically, she took away my excuses, and gave me focus, all with one, simple question.

So ask yourself the same question. And that look at your to-do list and ask these followup questions:

  • Is this item necessary to my survival? (the bill-paying stuff)
  • Does this item get me closer to my one-year goal?

Everything else? Well, it’s probably not necessary.

Related: Getting It Done, Getting It All Done: Your Master To-Do List

Comments

  1. Alisa Bowman says:

    This is so true. I’m constantly asking myself that question these days. It’s amazing what does not have to get done.

  2. Steph Auteri says:

    Yes. I moved a bunch of items to the bottom of my list, and even deleted some completely! Talk about time wasters. It made an immediate difference in my productivity levels.

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  1. [...] I prioritize my to-do list. I recently blogged about a friend who took one look at my to-do list and said: You’re doing it wrong. She then [...]

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