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Taming Your To-Do Lists

Posted By Edie Eckman, Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Today's To Do List:

Edie Eckman
Edie Eckman
  • write blog post for TNNA
  • finalize and ship 3 projects
  • go to bank
  • input expenses from recent business trip
  • plan article for magazine
  • order yarn
  • work on handouts for new class
  • class proposals for upcoming event
  • Skype call with Elise at 1:00
  • prep for 4:00 meeting
  • 4:00 conference call
  • respond to emails
  • marketing calendar, including social media

That's a light day, and it's just me. If you are a retailer or wholesaler, your list may look more like this:

  • receive new inventory
  • review and plan class schedule
  • look at cash flow
  • plan seasonal ordering
  • process returns
  • staff scheduling
  • renew lease
  • pay sales tax
  • research credit card vendors
  • do employee performance reviews
  • order yarn
  • freshen displays
  • clean bathroom
  • answer phones
  • wait on customers!

The List is always there. It's hard to do All the Things. And we haven't even touched the surface of personal tasks like walking the dog, picking up the kids at school and driving them to myriad activities, laundry, meal shopping and planning, doctor's visits, and so on.

Is it even possible to do all those things in one day, and is it any wonder we feel pulled in all directions?

The problem with lists like these, whether physical lists or mental ones, is that they don't offer us a clear way forward. It's just an inventory of things to be done, rather than a true action list of how and when to get them done. We have to be able to focus our attention on the task at hand and not be distracted by all the other things that aren't getting done. The real trick is to organize your List in such a way as to make it clear what the priorities are and to set in place a system that allows you to be as efficient as possible yet flexible enough to bend when the unexpected crops up.

Join us at the Building Better Business Day in San Diego for new ways of thinking about your List. Leave energized with an action plan for checking things off that list!

Edie Eckman has a degree in economics and business administration from Vanderbilt University. She is a former retail loan officer at a large bank, a former yarn shop owner, and she has held retail jobs in many sectors. She is a best-selling author, teacher, designer and editor who loves both knitting and crochet. She teaches around the country and online at and Her books include The Crochet Answer Book, Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs, Around the Corner Crochet Borders, and others.She is on a mission to ensure that pattern instructions are as clear as possible to the greatest number of knitters and crocheters possible. Find her at

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