Most weeks, I commence my work week carrying a heavy load from last week on my back – and then I have all those things on my task list for Monday, Tuesday, and so on …. so, you see where this is going – the ‘last week’s leftovers’ don’t get touched until Wednesday or later unless they are really urgent, in which case things get bumped or left behind from my to-do’s. It drags on.
I’ve been trying a new strategy. It began with that ‘inbox empty’ discipline and has now morphed into ‘carry nothing forward that I didn’t do SOMETHING on today’ – or, in other words, if I’m not advancing something every day, why am I carrying it with me?
Imagine every Monday morning was ‘first day on the job’ – just start, rev your engine a bit, and go!
Yes, go, go hard, then go fast …
Ah, but you’re carrying a load of unfinished Friday with you. For most of us, admit it, it’s more than Friday’s leftovers you are lugging around unfinished – distracting from fresh tasks at hand, and distracting from seeing fresh opportunities as they appear because you are too busy mired in last week’s muck to leap at what is right in front of you.
What’s your solution?
I’m trying to ‘deal with’ or ditch everything that comes my way – phone messages, email, snail-mail, and texts. I’ve done that in conjunction with ‘inbox zero’ thinking. How, you might ask, can I do that?
Simple: once an hour, I’ll look at an email in-box. To quickly delete, ‘mark as spam’ or ‘file’ gets rid of most. If it is something I want to deal with, I put it in a ‘parking lot file.’ I’ve put an ‘A-‘ prefix in front of my most frequently used files so my scrolling time is saved … and this way, my mailbox stays empty.
I’m still wrestling with leftovers, carry-overs, and high-maintenance matters, but so far, there seems to be more efficiency in it all.
Which means ‘it feels better’ and it seems measurable too.
Do it, ditch it, or postpone no longer than Friday – start next week as a fresh welcoming ‘open for business’ week, free yourself from the burden of carrying last week around with you.
If my words can’t convince you, try these brilliant ones from Dr. Viktor Frankl:
“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone's task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.” – Viktor E. Frankl
Maybe I should publish a book on this; I can see the cover like this:
HEAVY BURDEN REMOVER
things dragging on, and on, and on?
Why start the week under a heavy load (leftovers from last week) on your back: with your busy task list for Monday, Tuesday, and so on …. so, you see where this is going – ‘last week’s leftovers’ don’t get touched until Wednesday or later, if at all unless they are really urgent, in which case things get bumped or dumped.