You’re back at your desk and despite your best efforts to clear everything before your break it feels like you have a million unruly children clambering for your attention – whether they are your direct reports, your emails, your unfinished reports, your strategic planning that really must happen soon, preparation for 3 important meetings next week…
So JUMP IN! GET GOING! – Well that is what your head is screaming to you but it’s not the answer.
STOP! Yes, stop and take 5 minutes to reflect. I’m going to describe it as if you have a pile of paper, but this could of course be electronic.
Write every task you have to do on a separate piece of paper
- Divide your tasks into ‘Important’ and ‘Not so important’ piles
- Take the important pile and divide it into ‘Urgent’ and ‘Not Urgent’,
- Take the ‘Not so important’ pile and divide that into ‘Urgent’ and ‘Not Urgent’
You should now have 4 piles
- Important and urgent
- Important not urgent
- Urgent but not so important
- Not urgent not so important
Unless you need to upgrade anything from one pile to another, that’s your order.
Too much in pile 1? – repeat the process with just pile 1
You are almost ready to get going but let’s just check – did you include lunch break and is there time for exercise and food? Did you include coffee breaks? – time to get away from your desk, maybe chat to someone.
Put those in, they’ll make you more productive, and anything else you’ve remembered is important.
Sometime just taking a few minutes out can make all the difference.
I hope your day goes really well now. As a coach I’m always helping clients to find a different approach, a new angle, a way out of a sticky spot. Get in touch if you’d like to find out more and be more successful as well as calm at work. Contact details at the top of the page or go to Booking to book an appointment.
(PS, do you really need to do anything in pile 4?)