Organization & Productivity, Strategies

7 Reasons Your To-Do List Isn't Getting Done with Steph Crowder

Episode 233: Show Notes

Today on the show we welcome back Steph Crowder. Steph is so awesome, that we decided she needed to become a regular! So here she is, to talk about keeping your to-do list alive once you’ve lost momentum in your business. After the hype of a launch has died down, losing momentum is common. Trust us, we know! There is a certain amount of adrenaline that keeps you going during a launch, that keeps you alert, that keeps you firing when you’re in that challenge mode. But what do you do after this frenzy subsides? A lot of us go back to the same old habits and the same old routines and this is where a lot of us get super unproductive.

Today on the show we welcome back Steph Crowder. Steph is so awesome, that we decided she needed to become a regular! So here she is, to talk about keeping your to-do list alive once you’ve lost momentum in your business.  |  The Strategy Hour  |  Think Creative Collective

Steph has found that there are 7 major reasons why your to-do list is not getting done. If you are one of those people who are like, “What the hell? It’s Friday and I’ve crossed off barely anything on my to-do list!” Then girl, this episode is for you. Here, Steph talks about the big commonalities she has seen for why people aren’t getting their shit done. Better yet, she gives us actionable steps we can take toward more productivity and sustainable momentum. After this episode, you will be able to take a deep breath, re-evaluate your time, kick that self-doubt to the curb and be the boss lady you’ve always dreamed of being.

One: For The Love Of God, Step Away From The Inbox

Step away from the inbox. You’ve heard it before and we can’t say it enough. Here, inbox represents all types of inboxes – your email, your social media, your “chores,” your business bullshit. This is the stuff that is not making you money but that you love to convince yourself that it is really important. The average person spends 28% of their work week reading and responding to emails. As for social media, 135 minutes per day, that’s over two hours! Our brains are wired to respond to what feels urgent. So when the notifications come in, that’s where we go first. It’s hard, we know, and we are all human. But you have to manage this. There is a reason it is number one on the list! We’re not saying delete you social media or stop replying to emails. But do it in a conscious way. Allocate time for it. Don’t check it every five minutes and allow yourself to get sucked into the rabbit hole. If you get clients for social media, cool, we get it. But there is a difference between strategic social, strategic email and just letting it all just ping you in the face as it comes in. So have a system. Schedule your posts for a slot on a Monday perhaps. And check your emails for an hour in the evening. And set those expectations with your clients if you need to. All of us wish we could manufacture time… this is the way to do it people and what’s at stake is your business.

Two: You Are Not Prioritizing Growth Producing Activities

What are you doing this week that will lead to revenue? Income producing activities people, your IPA’s. Do you even know what they are? You need to know, you need to be thinking on this level. We know the above question is scary and tinkering around is fun but you’ve got to ask it. According to Steph, there are only three ways to grow. 1.) You can grow your revenue. 2.) You can grow your audience. 3.) You can grow skillset. So every week, what you could be doing is looking at your to-do list, and seeing where your to-do’s fit in under those three growth categories. If they fall into none of those categories, then remove it from that list if it is not urgent. Of course there is a bunch of BS in business that we need to do, but is that BS clouding your other to-do’s on a regular basis? Because if it is, you are probably not growing as much as you would like or generating as much income as you would like. So we need to differentiate the items on our to-do list: the IPA’s and all the other stuff. Setting your IPA’s at the beginning or at the end of the week is a great drill to practice alone or with your team.

Three: You Are Over-Scheduling, So Please Leave Some Room

This one sneaks up on people. Are you guilty of sitting down on a Sunday / Monday and planning hour to hour what is going to be done the next day or the next week? Here’s what happens, you probably won’t get through Monday before something goes wrong. Kids get sick, internet goes down, somebody misses a deadline etc. Life happens, right? When you pack your schedule so tight, you have no room to shift anything and then you feel like crap because your whole world has been thrown out of sync. Most of you listening are creatives and you need that white space to experiment, explore, show up for your people, and make amazing shit happen in your business. If that space is not there, the overwhelm sets in and we get frazzled. So leave some breathing room in your week so that you don’t feel like crap when you don’t get ALL the things done. It’s also important to wake up and see where your headspace is. What can you tackle today? Where is your head at? Don’t be so rigid with your schedule, allow it to breathe and take a break. Sometimes, when you need a break, it might feel indulgent but it will propel you to work at three times the speed and three times the quality.


There is a difference between strategic social, strategic email and just letting it all ping you in the face.
Tweet This via @stephcrowder_

Four: On The Flip Side, You Might Be Under-Scheduling

On the flip side of over-scheduling is under-scheduling and let’s face it, “Winging it” is not necessarily effective for most of us. So hands up if you’ve been in this situation before: it’s a Wednesday, you wake up, you climb out of bed at 10am, you check your calendars, you check your email, your Facebook and then all of a sudden, 11am and where did the morning go? We do have to put enough structure into the week and find the middle, happy place between over-scheduling and under-scheduling. How TCC combats this is by creating theme days. So Mondays are meeting days, Wednesdays are podcasting days, Thursdays are selling days, etc. Doing things on those days that foster those activities help create structure and assist with how we schedule and what we work on on what day. And you can have repeating days, so you can have two or even three selling days a week if that is what you need right now for your business. Steph structures her schedule in terms of A weeks and B weeks. A weeks are for clients and B weeks are for creativity. Make it fit for you. As long as you are not waking up in the morning going, “OMG there are so many things I could do today!”

Five: You Don’t Have Enough Leg Space – So Take A Step Back

For a lot of us, having a full schedule means productivity. We are told this in corporate culture too; if you schedule is not full, you are not working hard enough. But the truth is, your most exciting, connected, creative ideas – they can’t find you when you’re running that fast. It’s the saddest thing seeing people running themselves into the ground, trying to be successful when in reality, if they were to just slow down they could have their next million-dollar idea. As women, often we can’t distinguish between what is self-care and what is lazy, and we beat ourselves up every time we’re not working on our business and on ourselves. When in reality, taking 30 minutes to watch an episode of Friends or go for a massage – might just be what we need to relax, to let go for a second. We often tend to think it’s us being lazy because it is not directly attributing to us getting our work done. Treating yourself in a way you know serves a purpose, but not letting yourself get sucked into it – is okay. Everybody needs to sleep, everybody’s brain needs to be turned off at some point. So pick your day, Saturday? Sunday? Take a day off, lock your laptop away, turn off your cell phone and make yourself do it. Especially if you are an entrepreneur or are working full-time with a side hustle. You need that reset for good quality thoughts. You don’t need your Instagram. The last thing to do is carve out some brainstorming time and don’t let people creep into it!

Six: You Need A Grounding Practice. You Need YOU Time

Don’t hit the ground running every morning. Start your day with thirty minutes of quiet time to journal, read, pray, walk, meditate, paint – whatever you are into. Thirty minutes where it is just you, just your thoughts, no phone, so that your day doesn’t start with that frazzle. Find that thirty minutes. Waking up earlier and do it is the key! The point is to take some intentional time to let your brain wake up. Find something that works for you, try it for a month and see the difference it will make to your life.

Seven: You Are Doubting Yourself And It’s Misplaced

Uncertainty gets the best of us all the time. And what happens when we doubt ourselves, is we get frozen up, we stop taking action and we don’t know where to turn. When we feel uncertain about what we need to work on, that often gets translated to, “I feel uncertain about myself, about what I’m actually doing here with my life.” If you are going to doubt something, doubt that you are working on the right thing. But don’t go and doubt yourself, don’t go and doubt your own ability to be successful at the thing that you are good at. When you get scared, hit publish anyway. A lot of people think that they need clarity before they take action, but the truth is clarity comes from taking the action. If you are going to sit there and wait, then you will be waiting your whole life! Entrepreneurship takes practice. So be patient with yourself. Put one foot in front of the other before you expect to fly. We hope that after reading this list, you will put some of the practices in place and be so much more productive. Awareness is the first step. Now get out there and kick some ass.


  • One: For The Love Of God, Step Away From The Inbox. [0:07:30.1]
  • Two: You Are Not Prioritizing Growth Producing Activities. [0:13:40.1]
  • Three: You Are Over-Scheduling, So Please Leave Some Room. [0:17:22.1]
  • Four: On The Flip Side, You Might Be Under-Scheduling. [0:23:00.1]
  • Five: You Don’t Have Enough Leg Space – Self Care Versus Laziness. [0:27:26.1]
  • Six: You Need A Grounding Practice. You Need You Time. [0:34:00.1]
  • Seven: You Are Doubting Yourself And It’s Misplaced. [0:38:15.1]

#TalkStrategyToMe [0:42:58.6]

  1. Step away from the inbox.
  2. You aren’t prioritizing growth.
  3. You are over-scheduling your time.
  4. You are under-scheduling your time.
  5. You need some white space in your life.
  6. You need a grounding practice.
  7. You are doubting yourself and it’s misplaced.


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Steph Crowder

Courage and Clarity

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Steph Crowder is an educator, coach and "Den Mama" at, a place for courses and community for entrepreneurs. She also hosts the Courage & Clarity Podcast and co-hosts The Fizzle Show. When not helping people build their thing, she's hanging out with her husband and one-year-old daughter, sipping wine and decorating her new home in Louisville, KY.


  • Self doubt.
  • To-do list.
  • Productivity.
  • Schedule.
  • Women entrepreneur.
  • Business strategy.




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