If you don’t think that a conventional “to do” list is helping you – or its just so long that you feel overwhelmed, then try using a task grid from the tools section to prioritise what you have to do.
Spend some time putting your tasks into the grid
- Box 1 is for those that need urgent action and are important to you – if there’s water pouring through your kitchen ceiling, then calling the plumber will be in this box – you know the kind of thing.
- Box 2 is for the tasks that are important to you but not urgent – maybe writing your first best selling novel – something that you want to do well, but don’t have to do immediately. It could be preparing for a presentation you have to do next month. Spending time with family and friends or having “me time” also fit in here – very important but deserving to wait until you can devote quality time to it.
- Box 3 are distractions – they must be dealt with urgently but are not important to your aims and objectives –say unwanted phone calls, or someone asking for help with their priorities.
- Box 4 are neither urgent or important – perhaps your inbox is full of newsletters you signed up to in the past that you never get round to reading. Or maybe you have been asked to attend a meeting that you don’t think you can either contribute to or gain anything from – seek to eliminate these tasks from your life. Learn to say no.
By now you should be starting to get the picture that the box 2 tasks are those that you should be making time for – in fact many of the “firefighting” tasks in box 1 could probably have been box 2 tasks if you had got around to them sooner. Remember
Hard work is often the easy work you did not do at the proper time – Bernard Meltzer
So using my time management tips try and eliminate as much as you can from your other boxes, concentrate on your box 2 tasks and I’ll look forward to reading your new novel soon.