I should be slightly cuckoo by now, according to the psychological scales which tally up change-induced stress points. Thus far, however, I have nary a feather to show. Nor have I chirped.
I blame it all on Margie Lawson and the course I took from her in January on defeating self-defeating behaviors. I didn’t precisely finish the course, and I didn’t exactly excel in her classroom, but I obviously learned something applicable. How else do you explain that I’m more organized and productive than I have been in years, even when life-cycle issues should be shredding my composure?
The single most helpful tool? A List with a Twist.* In case there are one or two of you who might benefit, I’ll share the steps:
1. Compose a master list of what you want to accomplish over the next year. As you do step #2, keep this list at hand, being mindful of the next baby step you can take toward your larger goals. (Don’t forget to include goals in the broad categoreis of physical, emotional, social, and financial health!)
2. You will write a daily to-do list, comprised of two tiers:
- Winner goals – top priority items, which may all be essential.
- Superstar goals – second-tier goals. You must not tackle this list until your winner goals have been accomplished.
3. Beside each goal, write the estimated time it will take to accomplish the task.
4. As you accomplish each goal, cross it off. Then, and this is critical, write down how long it actually took you to accomplish the task.
5. Each evening, do a quick post-mortem. How did you do today? Did you head to the sexy Superstar tasks before you finished your Winner list? How accurate were you on the time requirements for your list?
Margie Lawson says the average North American underestimates the time it takes to accomplish a task by 42%. Forty-two percent, guys. Before I began the post-mortems, that was me all the way. I’d ask more of myself than was possible for anyone to accomplish, fail to meet my goals, feel discouraged, and react by failing to set future targets altogether.
But once this downward spiral is reversed and you taste accomplishment… Oh, guys, it is teh awesome. Before you know it, you’re sending in blog posts ten days in advance, have your hard drive backed up, met with financial advisors and made scary decisions…
Let’s just say if the right-brained Tart can improve like this, with imperfect application and Life interfering, you peeps can dazzle!
How about you? Is this obvious stuff to you? Are you already list-makers? If so, do you follow through? If you could name only one thing which helps you move forward in proactivity and productivity, what would that be?
*My name for it.