The Problem:

Getting things that matter most done

IMG_4725Most of us struggle with not just getting things done but getting a balance between the things that have to be done and the things we would like to get done. The ‘like done’ is usually the one that losses out. Almost every time. So, is there a way to help highlight this problem and start to ensure that we do get to do the things that really matter? Yes there is.

The Solution:

Well ‘solution’ is a big word and I don’t want to raise expectations here but that said, there is something you can do that will make inroads to this problem. The simple understanding is that the tyranny of the urgent usually holds the important stuff hostage and after a while it becomes a pattern that is hard to break.

The solution starts with recognising the destructive pattern that masquerades as ‘normal work life’. The way to identify this pattern is to ask yourself three simple questions at the start of each day and to do so for 10 days. Even better if you can do this with a colleague and then compare notes every second or third day.

Here are the questions:

  1. What must I do today?
  2. What should I do today?
  3. What would I like to do today?

Make some simple notes in response to each question. It shouldn’t take longer than a couple of minutes and then keep the list where you can refer to it throughout the day.

The key is to review the list before making the next one. It is the review process that will reveal the pattern or highlight what it is keeping you from the important things. Following this routine for a short period of time will reveal a lot about your priorities and choices. There are times that we have little or no control over our schedules but more often than not, we excuse our busyness with reasons that, well…that simply aren’t valid. All too often it takes a crisis to help us understand this but why wait until a crisis to learn an important life lesson?

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