Getting it done, Part One

Today I read a blog about Procrastination, decided I had a few thoughts on the subject, put off any ideas of planning the blog and am launching in…

I find it so terribly hard to make up my mind when there are several alternatives and none readily appears to be the best. However, if I put off making a decision, then other factors or people determine what happens, and I just have to go along with it (often grumbling).

Wouldn’t it have been better to have made A DECISION — any decision — and then if it works I can congratulate myself for being comfortably in control, and if it doesn’t work, I can have learned something from it.

When we were choosing a new home we developed a list of “Wants” and gave each item a priority score out of 10, eg. walking distance from shops = 10, décor to our taste = 5, kerb appeal = 6 and so on. We could do things to increase kerb appeal and can redecorate, but we couldn’t shift the house closer to town.

As we visited each house for sale we rated it according to that list so that a house very close to the CBD got 10/10 but one further away got 6/10. An attractive property got 6/6 but another with little “character” got 3/6, and so on…

Then we added it up. You can actually end up with a place that didn’t “grab” you at first sight, but which is suitable.

Such a system really helps people who find it hard to make up their minds, especially on such an important issue!

As I do this blog, I’m putting off a number of things. I’ve succumbed to an urgent desire. I’ve fallen victim of the Tyranny of the Urgent and that’s generally NOT a good thing.

However the Tyranny of the Urgent is usually when other people start adding to your list of “To Do”s: when they phone and ask for information NOW, or when they ask “Are you busy tomorrow?” before telling you what their plan for you is.

The best answer to make is “Actually I have a long list of things I need to accomplish over these next few days and I can foresee consequences if I don’t get them crossed off.”

Generally it’s not hard to imagine the consequences, which usually come in the form of inconveniences, recriminations, embarrassments…all those things we want to avoid but can only do so by getting Stuck In.

Getting Stuck Into what looks like a big task is made easier if you’ve broken it into Smaller Manageable Chunks. If each chunk represents an estimated 20 minutes, then you can promise yourself to do a chunk every day.

You might even get a bit carried away with a sense of accomplishment, and return later in the day to do another chunk! Woo! Way to go!

And when you get into bed each night, lie there listing in your mind what you achieved, how well you worked, how pleased you are…

…but don’t get into bed without having made a List for tomorrow, with an * in front of the most urgent tasks.

I’ll see what suggestions I can trot out for Part Two another day (if I get around to it).







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