“Commitment” or “To Do” and the Difference Between Them

ToDoWhen creating your “action list”, “success list”, “to do list” – whatever you happen to call it – do you differentiate between things you want/need to do and things you’ve committed to?

There’s a very real difference, one which if you don’t pay attention, could affect your business in the long term.

Items on your “to do” list:

These are things which you’ve chosen (or feel the need) to do: writing a blog post, article marketing, creating a new program, partnering with a mentor, reviewing your metrics and financials.

While it’s true that your business may be impacted if you don’t do these things, it’s your choice and you may choose something with a higher return over the original task that was on your list.

Items you’ve “committed” to:

These are those things where you’ve agreed to do something for someone: host a teleseminar, send out a solo email for a joint venture partnership, publish your ezine on a certain schedule, send out an audio tip for a program you offer, etc.

Things you’ve committed to are mission critical to the success of your business.  If you don’t do them, you lose credibility and if you lose credibility, you lose clients and referrals.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to imply that things on your “to do” list aren’t mission critical – many of them likely are.  It’s a balancing act to ensure they all get done and that those with the highest priority happen first.

Making It Real: My Request To You

“Okay, Sandy. . .not only do I have my mile long ‘action list’, you now want me to break that out by ‘to do’ and ‘commitments’?”

LOL.  Sort of. . .yes.

My first request is that before you say “yes” to anything, you:

  1. Take out your action list and calendar and ask yourself “when”, “When will this get done and what else will have to move to make room for it?”
  2. Then, “What is the benefit of saying ‘yes’ to this project?”
  3. And finally, “Is the benefit worth giving up/postponing ‘X’?”

And second, when planning out your day, before you look at that mile long action list, write down all your open commitments and see which you can complete that day.  Put those on your day’s action list first.

Third, do them, in the order listed.

This simple action plan will do more to increase your credibility and referrals than most anything else you can think of.  Oh, and yes, it will increase your productivity as well.