Have you noticed how most of your day goes to stuff that is not related to what is really important?
I am not even talking about the obvious things like dealing with spam, hanging out in Twitter, and people hanging on the telephone too long. There are lots of things that demand our time and either through procrastination or weakness we just let them.
Right now I am under pressure from various directions. We are moving to Canada, I have a couple of big projects kicking off, while all my other stuff needs to be taken care of.
Something is going to slide because next week the contents of our UK house are packed up and shipped overseas, in a couple of weeks I will be at Blogworld, and then a few days later we move. It is not ideal but some balls will be dropped, it is inevitable.
Decide, Dump, Delay, Delegate, Dodge and Do
Take a good look at what your day consists of and prioritize.
- Non-essential but significant value.
- Nice to have.
- No value.
- WTH is this doing here??
80% of your day will not even meet the criteria for #3 if you are anything like me.
Do the important stuff, drop anything that doesn’t make sense.
- Decide what you are going to do, when and in what order.
- Dump anything that makes no sense to your business or day.
- Delay stuff that doesn’t need to be done today.
- Delegate what you can (without creating extra work explaining one-off things).
- Dodge people who are just crying because they want attention rather than having actual urgent demands.
- Do what is top of your list, and continue down your priorities.
You > them
Don’t fall into the trap of putting other people’s priorities as yours. We are talking about the value to you here.
There will be things that you have committed to that ought to be moved up the schedule, but you will find there are just as many things that are more “loud” than important and it is easy to confuse the two. Like that free guest post that you promised and get reminded about 3x a day for 10 days versus the paid client work from the person who never puts any demands on you but would like delivery “as soon as you can manage”.
It is often the case that people who have no intention to ever compensate you will be far more demanding than the people who value your time enough to pay. Just because someone says something is urgent to them does not mean it is important to you, especially when they don’t pay your bills.
Their business, their needs, their failure to plan does not mean anything they want from you becomes your top priority.
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Don’t blunder about like a zombie. As you shuffle through your day all that “stuff” might look like work or a productive activity, but it is just stuff.
It’s your day, work through it consciously and know what you are meant to achieve.
I wrote this for me as much as I did for you. You are welcome 🙂