Thursday, September 15th, 2011 — —— — —— — —— — —— — —— — —— — — Summer Edition #183
Russell R. Shippee
Author, Speaker, Navigator


The LIST, the dreaded LIST.

It's time to get that list—the one that is driving you crazy—out of your head and onto paper. It's September and NOW is the time.

Sure, I've done my list. Knowing that some things drifted during the summer, I know that now is the time to get them done, and the list starts the process.

I confess, I did go sailing last weekend and according to the list I should have worked. At the same time we have to stop and recharge and sailing does that for me. When we rest and recharge we get more done when we get back to 'work'. In the meantime, I had my zen time sailing. The season is coming to an end so it's time to enjoy it now.

Speaking of enjoyment, my grandson was so excited to tell me all about Pre School. It was terrific. He ran into my office, jumped up into his favorite chair, and started talking. The excitement of the new things and the thrill of sharing them were heartwarming. Why aren't we adults as full of excitement and amazement at the wonderful little things in life? Living through the eyes of a child is truly eye opening for adults. As my mother told me, "Be a Kid."

This week's great read is Napoleon Hill's Daily Journal. Yes it is a repeat recommendation from last week. I find it interesting how often people don't react toward something until they've seen it multiple times. I hope that featuring it again this week will encourage you to take notice and give it a try.

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Henry Ford

"Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs. "
Henry Ford

"Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success."
Henry Ford

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This week's great read!

Napoleon Hill's Daily Journal for Everyday Men is an intensive year long planning tool for a man's strategic life-plan development based upon Dr. Napoleon Hill's 17 Success Principles. Beginning at any time in the calendar year, this tool will coordinate a man's personal success through daily planning and monthly reinforcement.

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It’s September, one of the times that people start to make the list, the list of things that have not been done over the summer thay need to be done.

The pad is out and that list, the one keeping you up at night, always crossing your mind at odd and inappropriate moments, is starting to find it’s way to paper.

People hate the list. It’s too long, there are too many things, there is not enough time, and avoidance is the name of the game. Avoidance as long as possible, but, when September rolls around it has to be addressed.

Step 1 is just to make a list of everything on your mind that you feel needs to be done. Get it out of your mind and on the paper. No judgement, just write the list and keep writing until you have them all listed.

Step 2 is to organize the list. One needs to break the list down by catagories so that it is manageable and no longer overwhelming. Here are the options:

  • Important
    These are the things that just need to be done

  • Commitments
    Things you have agreed with others that you will do

  • Not important
    Things on the list that may not need be done or done anytime soon

  • Not Necessary
    Just cross them off the list, let them go

Step 3 is to review and refine the list. Schedule the important things by date on your calendar or follow up list. By putting it on a specific day you are bound to do it, especially if you allocate the list so that no day has more items than you can do.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day, and we all can only do so many things. If we can’t do it, don’t schedule it. Do the important things first. It’s that simple.

It is important to schedule things so that you do not run out of time. Plan in advance so that you are not rushed at the last minute. If you have to prepare a report to present on the 15th, you may want to schedule to write it on the 10th. It’s the last minute rush that causes the stress.

Planning and scheduling in advance also allows for emergencies. Any given day we may run into an emergency that is more important than our list. By working ahead, you can attend to the emergency, and then catch up at a later time.

It is important to decide who should do the items on the list. It may be an item on your list but that does not necessarily mean you have to do it. You might delegate the task to an associate, a family member, or hire someone. That sure relieves stress and allows you more time for other things. Just because it’s on your list does not mean you have to do it.

For some, they feel they do not have the time to make the list and feel they can keep it in their heads. The reality is that taking the time to make the list and prioritize it will save far more time than the time to make the list. A little organization saves hours in the doing and reduces stress. The only way to verify what I say is to do it.

Try it. Make the list, organize it, and schedule it. You’ll find it far less overwhelming once you have it written and planned. Then, follow the plan and adjust as needed. Simple, yes. Effective, yes. Does it work? Yes.