If Spring has sprung
an abundant workload on you, I've got you covered with this simple diagram to help you chip away at that heaping pile of things to do
No doubt, you can use the graph below to manage your task list, which in turn manages your time, energy, and ultimately managing your emotional well-being while you effectively change the world!
So, I'll be truthful to you, the graph below isn't the entire answer to your busy-ness and overwhelm, but it gives you a good start in thinking more critically about your time and what you're placing value on. It's a good "workload" reset with respect to what you think is important versus urgent. And yes, “important” and “urgent” are not the same thing!
So, let's get to sorting your mess out. According to your goals for the week, take your huge list and split tasks into either "URGENT" or "IMPORTANT". Don't think too hard about this and go with what your gut reaction. Now, we examine what kind of urgent and what kind of important is it?
Take a look at the graph I created below. The more urgent a task is, the more of a time suck it is and will get you caught up in a storm. The more important the task is for you, the more likely you'll make time for it and put it in your schedule.
So, let me break it down even more for you…
TORNADO - This is the danger zone. When a task is too urgent it tends to take up and drain us of our energy and attention, leaving you at risk of getting swept up in the chaos. Do you have a task that’s sweeping you away from your goals like a storm?
BOXING GLOVE - These tasks are both important and urgent, so these you want to just knock out. Get them done, that’s just what needs to happen. It’s like, LUNCH at noon!
TRASH - These tasks are neither urgent or important. Somehow they made their way onto your list, but the consequences are minimal and just get in the way. Toss it!
CALENDAR - I always say, what’s important to you will be what you make time for. So, if you regard a particular task as more important than urgent, leap into your planner and block off an empty slot for it!
NOW, let’s do a quick recap on the steps:
- Gather or set some clear goals for your week.
- According to those goals, list out all the tasks involved in meeting that goal or project.
- For each goal, mark them on the graph in its respective place, or quadrant.
- Take a step back and see if your graph feels reasonable to you, holding your GOALS as the anchor.
- Are tasks in their proper places to meet your goals?
What needs to be switched around so that you are successful in meeting achievable goals?
Now take a deep breath! I mentioned before, this isn’t the answer to end all overwhelm with your busy and your impactful life, but rather it’s a worthy step forward in the direction of really understanding where your time is spent and how you value the limited amount of time we have in a day.
TIME MANAGEMENT IS A PRACTICE AND REQUIRES OPPORTUNITIES TO GROW FROM LEARNING MORE ABOUT HOW YOU FUNCTION
The last thing I want to mention here is about your organization tools. For me, I looked into different journaling strategies (bullet journal, best self journal, etc...) to stay organized and have collected my own combination of reflection and planning sections. I made it work for me. And I would say I have my own customized diary-like planner/journal that I populate every Sunday night to get my week started.
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