You know how most things are created out of need? People don't just sit around thinking up ideas for the heck of it, but rather most products and systems and procedures are results of the need for a solution to a problem. Well, I found one for myself today.
Sometimes my daily tasks are difficult to prioritize. For instance, I need to review notes from a recent meeting, update some client websites, write a press release, get through the 10 emails in my inbox, and prepare a speech for an upcoming appearance. Not all of these things absolutely have to be done today though I should have time to fit all of them in. And none of them is such a priority that it needs to be done absolutely first. Where to start, aside from spending the next 10 minutes hemming and hawing while browsing Facebook...
In order to avoid this kind of dawdling uncertainty, I created a system to ensure productivity and efficiency where without it a lack of focus could potentially result in time lost on social media, and extra long lunch, or half of these tasks being completed tomorrow instead.
I call it "deadline." First I made a list of each of those tasks, in no particular order. Then starting with either the one that should be done first based on who might be waiting for it to be competed, or which one I look forward to the least, I gave myself a deadline based on how much time that task should take. Today each thing I'm working on should take an hour or less, so at 11:00 I wrote "noon" next to "my blog" and here I am writing this post. Beside the second thing I least want to do or the second thing that should be completed, I wrote "1:00" and so on.
And now I have not only a list of things to do today, but by when each needs to be completed. I have a focus and a purpose. Check in with me at 4:00 and see if I'm done for the day as planned. Maybe I'll have a glass of wine... by 5:00. ;)
Try out the "deadline" system and let me know how it goes!
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