How long is your to-do list?
Life has been hectic recently with two projects in execution phase simultaneously. Normally what this would’ve meant is that I would be working 12 plus hour days and be way too exhausted at the end of it all, to even bother with dinner let alone people. Instead what I’ve found is that no matter how hectic it got at work, I still had time for a personal life. Work no longer consumed every waking moment of my life only because I did not want it to do so. At the end, it all came down to priorities and I guess my focus has shifted from being silo on work only and gone on to include things that makes life interesting. So even though there is a lot of work on my plate, I am still finding time to leave work shortly after 6 pm to hang out with family, pursue my hobbies, watch movies, play pool and hang out with my friends. I have even had the pleasure of playing board games for hours. Unplugging from work completely had been my goal this weekend however it didn’t quite work out like that. I had a lot of calls and a lot of coordinating to get done but what I successfully resisted was the urge to login to the office email and keep checking it every other hour for updates on the projects. Maybe this new tactic will work, maybe it won’t but meanwhile I am at least getting to see more of life outside the office walls than I normally do.
A recent article that I read on BNET on “Is your To-Do List too Long” actually boiled down to 3 simple tips:
1. Pretend your internet access is down.Readingand answering emails as they come in eats up an incredible amount of time. Indeed, it will expand to fill the available space. So give it less space and miraculously, it will take less time.
2. Write your year-end performance review. Right now. Now look at the accomplishments you plan to list in 2 months to your boss. Is anything on your to-do list contributing to those accomplishments? No? Then maybe you need to re-write the to-do list.
3. Repeat this phrase: “Just because I can do it doesn’t mean I should do it.” Are you micro-managing tasks that your team members can do? Would some task on your to-do list help someone else’s career development? Are you going to a non-essential meeting just for the face time and the pastries? A better idea: schedule one-on-one time with the person you’re trying to see, and get your own snacks.
Right now I am earnestly practicing point 1& 2 but its point 3 that I need to work on – Just because I can do it doesn’t mean I should do it. So delegation is the name of the game and I just really need to get better at this now.
So how long is your list? And what are you doing to tackle it?