I was very lucky in that I received some really super presents from lovely friends this Christmas.
On a professional level, my favourite was a J-Me Big Head Memo Pad. This is a fun desktop dry wipe board which has just enough room for important messages, but is too small to fill with unnecessary stuff.
It is absolutely perfect for focussing the mind every day. Instead of being overwhelmed by the endless to-do list, I can use this little fella to keep note of my 2 or 3 key goals for that day. He sits next to my laptop in plain sight, so I don’t have to keep reminding myself what to do next. And he makes me laugh, always a plus.
In my notebook, I write down all those ideas, actions and random thoughts which come to mind during the day, but I don’t make the mistake of just adding them to a never ending to do list. That way madness lies, because how can you ever have a sense of achievement or completion? As each thing gets completed, I put a tick by it and when all the tasks are done, and because I am silly, I end the day by drawing a smile on little fella’s face. It is very satisfying! Next morning, I start with a clean slate and from my notebook, I pick the next 3 priorities.
As well as being freed from the tyranny of the ever expanding to do list, focussing on just a few goals means that you are always working on your priorities. How often have you ignored the “deadline tomorrow” action which you didn’t want to do in favour of the “tidy shelves” displacement activity which is at the bottom of the list? (Oh, just me then.) It can also improve time management - how much time have you wasted going through your entire to do list for the umpteenth time today wondering what to do next?
(If you don’t have a Big Head, check out Mark McGuinness’s article on how he uses Post It notes. )
At the beginning of the new year, this is a perfect time to look at your working habits and see how you might be more effective. And if you don’t use a white board or Post It notes, do let me know how you keep track of your key priorities!
If this has struck a chord with you and you want to find out if coaching will support you, book for a Light the Blue Touchpaper session.