In my trigger series so far, I’ve talked first the idea of pulling the trigger. Then, the idea of defining exactly what you need to do, breaking down big new-years-resolution-ideas into something that is easy to do, easy to understand, and is most of all specific. The smaller you can break it down, the more easy it will be to actually do something about it.
And today what I write about is one of the most persistent problems of the modern world. Time. Having enough time, allocating the time when you do having, and utilizing it to the best possible extent.
So, how do you do it? How do you have enough time? Again, the answer is in something we’ve already covered. Break things down. Make a (flexible) schedule. Write it, but in pencil, as we all have our last minute “oh crap!” situations regardless of our type or level of work.
For me, timers are a big help. I suffer from an ADD-like problem where I will worry about what other tasks I have to do than the one I’m doing, so I’m not mentally present enough to work efficiently. So, I do a 2 timer cycle, 45 minutes, then 15 minutes. This allows me to accomplish more than one set of things per day, and also means I can trick my brain into focusing on the amount of time I have to work, rather than the list. I’m able to do other things (like write this post!) and stay far more focused than I do otherwise. What works for you may be something totally different, but keep trying things until you find your ‘fix’ for a broken or ineffective schedule.
One important note though-whatever you do to make yourself use time better, forgive yourself. Everyone has off days, and it’s far better to say, well, I messed up here, and this is how I’m going to make it better, than to spend a lot of time kicking yourself for what you didn’t do.
So, specificity and schedule fixing are two big keys. Start on one of those small tasks during your day, chip away at it. Most of these things don’t need to be finished all in one go, and making progress leads to more progress as the mental kudos stack up. Sometimes getting things accomplished also can mean asking for help. Can you hire or train someone to do something you need? Remember, you really don’t have to get everything done yourself.
When it comes to your ‘should’ list, don’t let it lie, don’t forget about it, and don’t allow yourself to get so caught up in the daily minutia that you never get started. You never know where your career would be if you actually went for it.