Innovation Insight: One Thing You Should NEVER Do When It Comes to Your Dream

Never add an item to your to-do list without doing this.

People ask me how I’m able to accomplish so many goals. I’ve seen a lot of dreams come to fruition. But many people have a hard time putting their dreams to work and actually accomplishing them.

I’ve found this one tip helps me tremendously. It’s something I don’t do. The tip is this: Never add an item to your to do list without a deadline attached to it.

Here’s why: If you don’t attach a deadline to your dream, you’ll never do it. There will always be something else competing for your attention. There will always be an emergency that takes priority. Or when motivation is low, you’ll simply ignore it.

And ignore it. And ignore it.

Eventually you’ll forget about it. You’ll pass over the item on your to do list like it doesn’t even exist, because it’s just always been there. Then, a few months down the line, you’ll take notice of the cobwebs all over that dream, and feel so guilty.

You’ll realize how little progress you’ve made on your dream. The regret, the shame. … Eventually you’ll remove the item from your to do list and just forget about it.

That’s why, anytime I have an idea, I add it to my list with a deadline. I use Wunderlist to schedule my daily lists. And when I have a new item to complete, I choose a day in the future (usually a day I know I’ll have a little extra time) and I set the hard deadline.

And if it’s a big project, I break it up into smaller pieces. Right now. I do it as soon as I have the other idea. Otherwise I’ll get to the day my project is due and feel overwhelmed. As much as possible, I try to avoid causing future Jonathan to hate past Jonathan.

So there’s the tip. Simple? Yes. But it’s made a world of difference for me.

Jonathan Malm
Jonathan Malm is a creative entrepreneur and writer. He is the author of Created for More, a 30-day devotional to help you develop a more creative mind. You’ll find him in San Antonio, Texas, roasting his own coffee beans and enjoying life with his Argentine wife, Carolina. You can follow him on Twitter.