I came across a very timely article about time management, 3 Ways to Increase Your Planning Skills, Stay Focused, and Stop Procrastinating.
The first thing that jumped out at me was this:
“There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.”
I think I need to put that on a banner and put it on the wall!
Why do we try to do everything? Why does everything have equal importance?
I will never be caught up. All I can hope for is to stay focused and be on top of my most important responsibilities. The others will just have to wait.
Why is it so much easier to prioritize at work that it is at home? I have an ongoing list and I look at frequently, but rather than being my guide for the day, it has become a list of possible things to do. I choose what I want to do instead of what I need to do. And then I beat myself up if I don’t cross things off the list.
The article suggests three questions to use on a regular basis to help my stay focused on getting my most important tasks completed on schedule.
- What are my highest-value activities?
- What can I, and only I, do, that, if done well, will make a real difference?
- What is the most valuable use of my time, right now?
“Do first things first and second things not at all.” – Brian Tracy, the author
“The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“There is a rule that says that every minute spent in planning saves 10 minutes in execution. Make a list before you start to ensure that when you do begin work, you will stay focused on that activity that can have the greatest possible consequences for yourself and your business.”
Again, I do this at work, but there’s no beginning and end at home, just an ongoing to-do list. It’s so much easier to choose the quick things on the list and then the time-consuming things pile up.
- I need to accept that I will never be caught up
- I will choose the one thing on my list that has the highest value and will make the most difference
- I refuse to allow myself to become overwhelmed with trivia