Is Your To-Do List Keeping You From Getting Things Done?
February 17, 2014
Today, I would like to speak a little about the importance of making realistic daily goals. Each day, I wake up early and spend a few moments thinking about the day that lies ahead of me. I think about the things that need to get done, that should get done, and the things that I want to get done. Suffice it to say, by the time I get to the end of the list, I have a full weeks of plans ahead of me. After much trial-and-error (and the frustration that often accompanies it), I have had to learn carefully curate my to-do list in order to get things done.
Our world is one that places a high level of importance on instant gratification. We want what we want and we wanted it yesterday. Our industry falls particularly victim to this mentality, often with vendors, florists, designers, planners, and clients all working frantically and endlessly to meet deadlines – those of one another and their own. And yet, at the end of the day, how many of us feel we have gotten everything done well? How long does the list become and how long does each task stay? This is an important question as in the answer we find clues to our own daily habits and the impact they actually have on our productivity. Piling more “stuff” onto the list may be necessary to keep track of tasks, but attempting to do them all or jumping from one to another often tends to leave us feeling exhausted and halfway there across the board.
Then, of course, there is the question of the value we have for the talents and time of others. As artists, we create and that takes time. Asking a colleague or an associate to put a rush on something is a part of life, but unrealistic expectations are counterproductive and a good way to build resentment.
I have found that highlighting the top three to five priorities and focusing on getting those things done completely (at least completely through their initial or next phase) is far more productive and less stressful than hopping around and doing ⅓ of what needs to be done on each project while adding more to the list.
Today, I would like to ask all of you how your approach to your tasks are really working for you. Are you in overdrive but put-putting along or are you moving forward into each day with focus, commitment, and attention? Are you challenging those around you in a way that is supportive or placing expectations that are unrealistic and inadvertently causing setbacks?
I’d like to hear your thoughts and tips on the subject.
(Photo Courtesy of Mont Blanc)