Can’t you see the headline in newspapers? ~ Mark Kolke’s FRIDAY SOLUTION solves all.
My Friday solution?
Deal with it, advance it. Or trash it.
Should there be any other criteria?
I believe this works best if you’d started on Thursday, or you could start it earlier in the week – but here we are, Friday.
Why not start now?
Each day I look at my pile: ‘every day items’, planned work, surprise work (yes, my phone rings for other than social reasons), postponed work (I’m procrastaholic – very logically, sensibly, justifiably) and ‘whatever work I didn’t finish yesterday’. Daunting, many days, but not always. AND, there is ‘the list’ on my computer screen of all those reminders, diarized calls, meetings and follow ups.
Now, whether or not your pile matches mine, what do you do about it?
Sometimes I lay it all out – reprioritize, spread around sometimes from room to room in serpentine fashion. That always produces a temporary feeling of accomplishment: some things get pushed forward, some back, some trashed and some re-piled or mingled.
But temporary fixes are just that – temporary. Because nothing changes. Changing our habits is extraordinarily hard work, especially when time management skills (if we dare to call them that) are honed and ingrained in our minds as auto-response behavior.
In the interest of making meaningful change, a nuance is evolving; I’ll call it ‘act as if I’m going on a long vacation in 73 hours from now – and see how much you can accomplish in the next three days’ method.
Deal with it.
Or trash it.
If I only allow those options, where is the danger?
I know, that I advance everything one inch, I’m simply procrastinating – but I am moving things forward.
Early efforts at this have often been meagre accomplishments before some important event intervenes: clients call, friends call, a need for fresh air, fresh scenery or for a bowl of moose-tracks ice cream at 11AM erupts.
But seriously now, when you are heading on vacation, are you more decisive? Of course you are. Why not be that decisive every day? If you are going on vacation, can you hustle, waste less time and be more effective? Of course you can. If you are going on vacation, can you clear the decks of everything that isn’t highly important or highly urgent – and then, once cleared, employ high-energy focus on those items without distraction? Of course you will.
Why not every day? Too much, too soon?
Alright, try this. Every Thursday, go through everything on your plate: deal with it, advance it or trash it. Then, on Friday, deal only with those remaining highly important and highly urgent tasks. That way, whether or not you are leaving on a three week vacation, when you get back to work again on Monday or on Monday three weeks from now – your desk is clear, you mind is clear and all you need to focus on is what is highly important or highly urgent. Everything else is gone – because you’ve dealt with it, advanced it or trashed it.
I’m not TOTALLY there yet, but I’m well on my way …
Hi Mark, This article is a keeper for me as it describes and reminds me of what inspires me to do my work as well, as the importance of having a goal that is bigger than your own obstacles, which I think is inspired by purpose ..excellent food for thought, every day. Thank you so much, LH, Calgary, AB