You’ve heard it all before and that’s because it’s true – we often get far too caught up in “busy work” and it often feels like we’re doing so much because we’re so busy. Truthfully, when we think about it (and we already know this): that’s often not the case. So how do we get to the things that matter? Here’s a tip I heard the other week that I’m trying and love:
Tonight, before you go to bed, think about your list of “to-do” items (yes, that ever-growing list with no end *shakes fist*). When you think about that list, think of 3 important things you can do tomorrow. Those 3 important things should be something that obviously matters, where you can say to yourself: “If I get these 3 things done today, I can feel good about my day – like I really got something done that matters.” Pick 3 things. They don’t have to be monstrous projects. But a step toward completing a project that you can be proud about is great, right? Absolutely it is.
The “magic trick” to make this productivity tip work?: FIERCELY PROTECT YOUR TIME. Carve out that “white space” in your calendar and let nothing distract you in that space – save a real emergency. Not a phone call. Not a text. Don’t look at social media. Don’t get lost on the web. Don’t even look at your email yet. If you’re lucky enough to have an office door / private space – use it. Literally block all things out to get Task #1 of the day done – however long that takes. Hopefully it’s something you can accomplish in an hour or two at the most. Reconnect with the real world (allow yourself a certain amount of time to reconnect – like 30 minutes or 45), then start it again with Task #2. If you can knock out two important tasks in the morning, you have the entire afternoon to get your 3rd task done.
We’re now in Week 7 of the New Year, so we have 45 weeks left to go. If you do 3 things every work day (5 days a week) for the rest of the year, so we have 45 weeks left to go. You have a chance to do 675 important things between now and then if you were to try out this productivity rule. TRY IT!! I am. Either way, do something that matters and let’s start saying NO to more things so we can say YES to those things that actually do matter.