Then it happens. The First Interruption. The interruption is not important, but it needs to be addressed and you find that at each stage of addressing one bit, another bit unfolds. You spend time on the phone, you unravel the problem, you work through the issues. Before you know it, it’s lunchtime. You’ve managed to cross one thing off and the rest of the list glowers at you reproachfully.
Before you’ve even gotten to the next item- which is so simple, it should only take a minute or two- the Second Interruption occurs. This one is a messy one. Emotions are involved. People need soothing and you are apparently the only person that they want to talk to.
By days end, you are exhausted. The list has become a tyrant, a neat catalogue of things you haven’t achieved. It’s demoralizing. What can you do?
We’ve all been here, haven’t we? I’ve learned three fabulous tips for the list problem, two from books and one from a workshop participant.
1. Write your list for the day, then give yourself a week to complete it. Apparently we are overly optimistic in our estimations of how much we can do. By giving yourself more time, you’re more likely to achieve what’s on it.
2. List the simple things and don’t forget the easy wins. We get motivated through achievement and ticking off an item can create enough of a burst of happy hormones to get us onto the next item.
3. My favourite. Write a ‘done’ list at the end of the day, especially on the kind of day described above. Such a lovely simple solution from a workshop participant. It leaves us with the feeling of achievement instead of disappointment. So much better to end the day on a high!
What are your list tips?