So many details competing for attention—meetings, emails, projects…and so little time. It is discouraging, overwhelming, and disheartening. No matter how hard we try, we can never, ever get it all done. We just keep getting more.
I tried and it almost killed me. I learned that no matter how many hours I put in, I couldn’t do it all, and was determined to work smarter—what were the right things to get my objectives done, rather than work on everything that came along.
To decide what is really important and what is just getting in the way, step back to get a clearer view of what is on your plate. David Allen writes in his book, “Getting Things Done,” list everything work-related, personal, or community focused to sort out what requires your attention now, what can be dealt with later, delegated to someone else, or unceremoniously dumped. This takes a while but is well worth it. It gets it out of your head, off of those sticky notes that get lost, and on to one list that can be dealt with more easily.
Now that you have your list, I suggest using these questions as a guideline for further action.
- How does each item impact the successful completion of my commitments and goals?
- What can I eliminate because it keeps sinking to the bottom of my list and has just become an annoyance when I see it, or it just does not have any impact?
- What requests can I say no to?
As you begin to focus on the right things, not only will you feel in control and more confident and less stressed, others will notice too. Worked for me. It can work for you too.