So, I stuck with the five things to do list for the week last week, and it was mostly great.
I learned what I always suspected was true… I’m not, and likely never will be, a natural multi-tasker. Some of that I’m sure has to do with the way I’m wired (brain chemistry is an amazing thing), but a lot of it comes down to the fact that there are very few people in the world who can multi-task well.
I also learned that I feel a lot more comfortable having a few big things to finish than a whole lot of little seemingly meaningless tasks. That said, given I have no direct reports at work, the little tasks still need to get done. I found myself jotting down notes as emails came in about the small stuff to bunch everything together and finish all the little stuff in one big chunk. It sort of worked.
This week, a four-day week, I’m finding myself slipping into the same patterns and routines as before the project began. Even though I set the intention to complete the one minute tasks.
According to David Allen’s bestselling book, Getting Things Done, clearing off the small tasks, if they take two minutes or less as they come to you means you’ll have more time and energy to tackle the bigger stuff. BUT, within the first day, I found myself immersed so deeply in the small tasks, that by the time I could sit down and do the bigger stuff, I had no time left before bed to do it. I didn’t take that into Tuesday at work for that reason. I feared jumping into too much of the small stuff.
So this week, I’m doing a bit of a hybrid instead. Still tackling the bigger few things on my plate first, but sprinkling the smaller tasks in throughout the day by taking those five minutes before a meeting and answering a couple of short emails. Or taking a minute or two to get settled after a break or lunch to do a few of those smaller tasks. I’m still writing them down so that they’re not off my radar.
I’m also taking the time to plan more fitness stuff for the blog, and for my social channels. It is, after all, a passion of mine to get everyone thinking about their health and well-being!
What should my productivity hack be? I’m open to suggestions! What’s worked for you?