Do you ever brainstorm on paper at 3am (with insomnia in full swing), feeling overwhelming and wondering how you are you going to fit everything into the coming day? Do you fall asleep sitting up and awaken stressed and exhausted?
The other week, I did this very thing and woke up to a list of 36 things that I wanted to cram into my day off (which was surely going to stress me out). Pondering the situation over breakfast, I decided to take control of my day before it took control of me. I was determined to enjoy my day off, but still have a feeling of achievement at the end of it.
Having read Stephen Covey’s ‘7 habits of highly successful people’ many years ago, I thought about how I use his A, B, C, D method to prioritise my day at work. For example, an ‘A’ task would be an important and urgent one and a ‘B’ task, important but not urgent and so on.
So how do you decide what would be an important ‘work’ task to be tackled first i.e. an ‘A’ entry? This could be something that will have the most benefit to the company if it is completed, or the worst impact for not doing it. For a ‘personal’ list of tasks, the ‘A’ entries may be ones that have been annoying you for so long like clutter on every surface or paying urgent bills.
On this particular day at home, I knew I had things I wanted to do without fail – for example, exercise for thirty minutes and order my supermarket shopping online. I also had many outstanding tasks that had been irritating me such as clearing the clutter from the lounge, hoovering to make the house feel clean and sitting down to enjoy a bit of writing (a hobby of mine).
Taking my personal list, I read each entry and marked an ‘A’ next to the tasks that jumped out at me. I then prioritised these selected eleven entries. From experience I knew that by making exercise the first priority, I would be motivated to tackle the rest.
Later that morning, after ticking off the first five tasks, I put my feet up in my tidy lounge and rang my sister. As we chatted, I glanced at my list and suddenly realised that the other tasks no longer felt important – it was like a weight had been lifted. As I worked through the rest with ease, it felt good knowing that I could have haphazardly tackled a long list of tasks and ended the day not really doing what would have been the most important to me.
My productive day was followed by a good night’s sleep and my motivation and positivity spilt into my next day at work…..
So what is the moral of the story? A carefully prioritised list, together with the self-discipline to follow the tasks in the order you’ve set, is the ‘secret to a happy and organised day’.
Until next time…
My writing challenge blog: www.mywritingnotebook.wordpress.com
My website: www.tipsandluxuries.com
Twitter: @madeirasandra and @tipsandluxuries