Even if we have all our projects and priorities in alignment and have a complete action list, one of the most powerful insights I got early on from David Allen, is, if we stopped time right now; didn’t receive another appointment, text, phone call, email, request, or demand, all of us has between 50 and 300 hours of unfinished tasks in front of us.
And, of course, time, and the tide of incoming, wait for none of us.
How to manage a day:
An appointment is work we do at an arranged time and place involving specific people.
Work-that-appears are those texts, calls, emails, requests, and demands requiring time and attentions as they appear.
Work-required-soon are those things that don’t have a specific deadlines, but the opportunity, relationship, or defense is slowly degrading.
Appointments happen, urgent demands get met, work-required-soon is slippery.
To get a grip, make a hot list -- three to five of those slippery tasks you don’t want to lose. When you finish an appointment or an urgent task, check the list, and get one moving.
Here’s mine today:
Draft newsletter text
Email client two communications strategies
Make phone call to maintain important relationship: xxx xxx xxxx (put the number on the list, even if it’s in your phone. It creates momentum.)
I’m in and out of other stuff. This hot list gives these tasks momentum. (You’re reading this. It got finished. Quod erat demonstrandum.)
Throw it away. Start fresh every morning. Let each day’s worries be sufficient for that day.