I have nothing left to do today, I have just crossed the last thing off my daily to do list and am going home.
Don’t get me wrong, I have lots of work, plenty of projects, reports to write, research to do but not that nagging sense that there is something that I should have done or that disappointment that I started the day with such high hopes and have not achieved half of what I wanted to. Having spent the last 5 years in a permanent state of heightened anxiety I am finally back in control.
This mission started from a chance remark from an associate of mine (who is in a very senior role with a huge portfolio of work) who said to me ‘I have finished work today, I have done everything I set out to do’. I remember thinking how amazing that must feel because at the time I felt as though I never finished work I just decide to stop at some point each day. This may sound like the same thing however there is a really important distinction between believing that you have finished and can therefore turn your attention away from work and just stopping because you have run out of time.
I have spent many years reading books on how to get things done, making the most of your time, getting your life in balance, working smarter not harder ……… and they have all helped but not solved the problem. So what has changed now? The real difference is about getting focus and being realistic.
- At the start of each day list the 5 things that you are going to do without fail by the end of the day (I know that this has to be realistic because I am not going to go home until they are done!)
- Put the list in order with the one you are resisting the most at the top.
- Deal with all the normal reactive business of the day but every time you have some discretionary time go back to your list of 5.