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2015-03-24 12.26.16I’m in New Orleans for the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week conference, looking for story ideas and sources. I’m not on a specific assignment, and at first, I was a little daunted by that – how do I make sure that I get enough out of this conference to make the cost worth my while?

Then, I did something I had never done before: I sat down and made a list of the things that I wanted to accomplish. A list of blog posts. Magazines that might want story ideas from the conference. Outlet and thrift stores to review for a nascent blog project. Potential new clients. A full-on conference plan of attack.

I came up with fifteen things to accomplish,  some small, some large. I’m already a big fan of making lists, inspired by David Allen’s book Getting Things Done. This week, I have a shiny new @Conference list to keep me on track. It’s been useful to figure out which sessions to attend, who to introduce myself to, and where to go when there’s free time. It’s only Tuesday, and I am already impressed with how much I have been able to do.

I am amazed that I never thought of this before. Maybe this is one of those obvious things that everyone knows, or maybe not. Sometimes, when you’re not in a regular office, it’s easy to miss the shared wisdom of the corporate set.

The beauty of lists is that they keep me in the present, focused on what I need to do next. And, they are easy to change along with circumstances. No list is set in stone; as priorities change, so can the list. Plans are not rules or laws. They are just a way to point us in one direction and get us started.

Anyway, I’m feeling good about this, and if it helps you, too, then that’s even better.