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The average manager may have as many as three hundred items on his to-do list. You and I may only have as little one hundred items on it, but what we all have in common is the permanent sensation that we will never get it down to zero. Let’s face it: life will never reach a really quiet destination, it is always pending. On the other hand, if it really came to a definite standstill, we would be either dead or deadly bored.
Having difficulties with the sheer volume of your to-do list can essentially cause four different feelings:
1. The sensation of being overwhelmed: “It is all too much for me. I am confused, and I always will fall behind with my workload.”
2. The sensation of senselessness: “I am always occupied with a thousand minor details. I never find the time to work on the things that really matter to me.”
3. The sensation of dread and of boredom: “I don’t really like what I am doing, and I hate to get up in the morning to face it again.”
4. The fear of failure: “I’m not sure if all these activities will really accomplish what I’m aiming for.”
For today’s lesson I want you to identify what your own predominant feeling is when you think of your do-do list. This will help you to choose a more effective strategy to relieve your stress level and to reorganize your work.
Second, I would like to remind you of how often we find lots of time to complain about our workload and while we are doing this, we simply neglect our most essential homework. See if you can discipline yourself a little more to the mantras, “What has to be done will be done!” and “I will always finish what I have started!”
Third, I urge you to remember that you probably own a wrist watch.
Look at it more often during the day and ask yourself what is the best use you can make of the next hour and of all the time until the end of this day.
The topic of time management and setting the right priorities can get very scientific and complex. If you analyze it too much, you can easily get caught in the famous trap of “Paralysis of Analysis” and loose precious working time over it.
Nevertheless, in future lessons we will talk about some helpful strategies to overcome the four negative feelings we just talked about.
For now, please just think about doing your homework effectively, finishing what you have started and making the very best use of your time: for the next hour, until the end of this day and of this week.
See you in the next lesson.
Personal and Business Coach
Illustration: © Jay Zeutsch