One of the most effective tools for time management is the simple to do list. Particularly when the list is made daily and the sequence allocated best matches the need and time available. But even with the best of intentions, this sometimes fails or becomes blocked by an item.
The longer that the item isn’t done, the bigger it seems to become. How often do we say today is the day that I’ll finally get around to doing X? Mentally whatever X is, it has become this enormous task which of itself then makes us reluctant to tackle it. If it was easy we would have done it yesterday.
If there is always something on your to-do list that never gets done? The first question to ask is, does it actually need doing? Sometimes we carry over items for no good reason or we forget why we put them on the list in the first place. If something is never done and there isn’t a good reason for it, remove it from the list.
The second question is how urgent or important is X. If it were really urgent then presumably it would be done; otherwise delay is just making its need to be done higher. So tackle it and don’t be surprised if it turns out to be less of a chore than expected.
If it is highly important that it is done, but there is currently no time constraint; then set one, as its absolute as opposed to relative importance won’t change. And having set a time constraint make sure you stick to it so you know it’s item number one on Wednesday’s list.
And if Wednesday comes, but something else is truly more urgent at least start the task because then mentally you have begun and made it perhaps only a little smaller. If this fails book the task as a meeting for an hour because few of us will ever knowingly miss a meeting and meetings do over-run to fit the needs of the people involved.
What was my latest to do list blocker?
This blog was the latest blocker on my to do list. Consistently posting content is essential marketing in the modern world which I can always do for clients, but not as well for Aimed Business.
The solution was a planned power cut when my laptop battery allowed me to type while all other digital comms were off. Opportunistic perhaps but it worked. Just need to find time now to post it!
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