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Thursday, November 5, 2009

What do you have to get done today?

There are a million things to do and a hundred deadlines to meet. You've got to write emails, you've got to make phone calls, you have to sit in meetings and try to be engaged...and in between all of it, you have to get your daily work done.

How many of us feel this way on a regular basis?

What do we do about it? We get flustered, we respond to the loudest voice or the squeakiest wheel of the moment, and we try to get everything done. Or maybe, we run and hide, thinking that "doing the ostrich" and burying our heads in the sand will make it all go away. Regardless, we're most likely not being efficient and effective and we may be rough to live with while it's all happening. This kind of living stinks.

Is there a way out?
  • Well, the first thing you have to do is ask yourself if you need to be doing everything you're doing. Are you doing some relatively simple work just because you like to do it or you're really good at it versus delegating it out?
  • Moving on, is there anything you can say "no" to? As far as work is concerned, maybe that's not reasonable, but maybe there is. There may be some opportunities personally, too.
Great, you've delegated and you've pushed back and you still have a ton of things to do. There's no end in sight. Where do you turn? Stop and ask yourself this simple question:

"What do I HAVE to get done today?"

Just ask it. It seems so simple, yet when we are frazzled and feel overwhelmed, we often just forget. We forget to take a few minutes and prioritize.

So, shut the door, take a deep breath, and ask yourself the question. It may help you get through the day.

What other ways work for you in dealing with too many tasks on your list?

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