Today I erased and rescheduled a task that I’ve been working on for the past 4 weeks.
It’s a silly little task, one that will take me about 30 minutes to complete, but it’s not “essential”, so I keep putting it off. The problem is that a month ago it wasn’t essential. Today, it’s “critical”!
Why didn’t I do this when I had planned to do it?
Why isn’t this the only thing that I haven’t gotten done?
If you’re like me, life is a constant shuffle of tasks, schedules, goals and priorities. We learn very quickly how to determine the importance of something, then that thing moves up our “urgent” list, until we’re able to complete it.
Here’s a practical challenge for the day:
#1) ADJUST YOUR SCHEDULE
Look at your schedule for the next 14 days, and identify 2 blocks of time (at least 2 hours each) and schedule an appointment with yourself for those 2 blocks. This is time for you to do some tasks.
#2) CREATE YOUR LIST
Start making 2 separate lists for these 2 appointments. Just begin writing down some things you’d like to get done. These might be tasks you’ve put off, or they might be things you’ve been thinking about. Example: Yesterday, I was flying through the airport and I saw a poster from a company that specializes in travel clothes that are inexpensive, durable and affordable. I took a picture of the poster and need to take some time to research the company and find out more about the product. This isn’t “important or urgent” but it’s something that I’d like to do.
#3) TRIM DOWN YOUR LISTS
Take a minute and just eliminate a number of items from your list that just don’t need to be there. They sounded good on the first pass, but when you look at them again, they aren’t that important.
#4) PRIORITIZE YOUR LISTS
Number items based on their priority. #1 is the most important. Estimate how much time you’re going to need to accomplish that task. Prioritize all of the items.
#5) WORK YOUR LISTS
When you get to your set appointments over the next 2 weeks, turn off your phone, close your email and internet. Focus on the list, and take each of those 2 hour blocks to work through the list.
You will feel like you’ve really accomplished some things, and it’s always good to cross things off of your list.
This is a simple way to get things done.
Back to my task…. This week, I have one day in my office. I had to just take 30 minutes out of a very full day to get this task completed that I should have done a month ago when I had more margin, more time. Now I’m scrambling to complete my tasks for today. I’ll have to put something else off now.