There are days when we all feel so overwhelmed by what is in front of us that we actually do nothing.
We don’t move forward, we don’t achieve anything (even though there is so much to do) we just stand still….and panic!
These are the days when we should stop and remember that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ and that we should take things one step at a time.
So often we get tied up with EVERYTHING we should be doing when really we should be focusing on the things in front of us, the things that HAVE to be done, the things that just CANNOT wait the ones with the IMOVEABLE deadline!
You would never expect to run a marathon without planning and training so why do we think we can tackle everything on our to do list in one week, without planning or thinking, quite frankly it’s impossible.
Every day, every task, every to do list should be taken one step at a time.
One step, leads to two steps, two leads to three, three to four and so on and before you know it your jogging along at a reasonable pace. Keep that momentum up and you are marathon ready in no time.
So how, exactly, do you get to run that marathon and receive your medal?
Well it’s simple to start with…you need a pen and a piece of paper and your brain. Write down everything you need to do, no order, no timescale, no categories, just a pure ‘brain dump’.
Once you have that list go away, make a cup of tea, coffee have some time out….then come back and add the things you missed (and yes there will be things). If needed go away again, repeat over a number of days until you are sure you have got everything you need to do on that list.
Now start at the top, work out the deadline for the task and whether you have to do it or can someone else do it? – a member of staff, someone from your family, a friend or does it just have to be you. Have you thought about outsourcing or sharing the load?
Now you have a choice, use a task based programme (my current favourites are Trello, Asana or good old fashioned outlook tasks) or get your calendar and start scheduling. Drop a task into each day and group similar ones together. If it looks like there is too much on one day or one week, move things about until they are evenly spaced. Be honest, does everything really have to be done by next week, what can wait? You are not Superhuman so do not try to tackle the impossible.
Then comes self-discipline, look at your tasks each day and commit to completing them. Don’t be tempted to jump about, only move onto the next day if you have completed the current ones as much as you can. Remember, one step at a time and you will be amazed how much more productive you can be.