HOW IS THAT TO-DO LIST FARING?
We’re living in a world where so much needs to get done but the hours have remained the same. Last time I checked; the only time a day froze to complete a task was when the sun and moon stood still after Joshua prayed to God. This request was for him to complete his victory over the Amorites.
I suspect you may not be attempting to replicate Joshua’s audacious prayers so allow me to suggest an alternative.
Now I’m going to be very direct. Please read this slowly. Not every project or task you take on requires your immediate attention. Am I right, or right? It’s a new month and the last quarter of the year 2020 beckons. You may have achieved some of the goals you set, you may not have realised any goals yet. Do not beat yourself up.
There is still over a hundred days left in 2020 and all you will need is the discipline. A strategic focus on what really matters or what is most important. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or under pressure, it’s ok. I have a few questions that could help you prioritize and focus a whole lot better.
If I asked you why you are performing a particular task or working on a specific project, what would your response be? Why are you focusing on that task or a number of tasks at this present time? Are you thinking about it? If you cannot come up with a clear response, then it’s not as urgent as you are treating it. You may not want to drop that task down the pecking order if I were you.
Have you included items in your to-do list simply because you did not want to look lazy, incompetent or impolite? Let me say this. Turning down requests is not a cardinal sin. So many people put themselves under undue pressure because of this.
Perhaps you took on the role or task for the wrong reasons. I have been there and I’m currently working on ensuring I do not find myself in that situation again. Funny thing is, people may get angry or emotional when you turn them down. But at the end of the day, they will respect you for what you stand for. And believe me there will be other opportunities for you to show you’re not the ‘lazy bastard’ they thought you were.
Now do not get me wrong. I’m not encouraging you not to help people, work or add value outside what brings you value. Just strike a balance. What I’d advise is to refrain from making a commitment on the spot. You can even ask for some time to think about it and give a feedback later. That way chances of making a sound judgment are higher.
My last question was about the present. My next question is about the future. What will be the outcome of what you have chosen to focus on in the future? In a week’s time, a month’s time, before the end of the year or even in five years’ time? What will happen? If you do not get it done, what will happen? You may be an entrepreneur, an employee or even part of the board of directors of a firm.
What impact will your action or lack of it have on you, your business or other stakeholders? If you cannot envisage any real impact then it’s not as urgent as you are treating it. And it should not be taking your time at the expense of more critical tasks or projects. I will move on to the next critical thing if I were you.
It’s time for you to get started.