Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
I was really out of sorts last night. I hadn’t managed to find time to write the blog, nor my book. I sat in my writing studio, grumpy and resentful at all the things that had kept me from writing.
Here’s the thing, though. I am what keeps me from doing the creative things I want to enjoy. And as soon as I realized that, I started asking myself what I felt was standing in my way.
Not enough time. OK, I’m going to throw the BS card at myself for this one. 10 years ago I was working full time, the parent of an infant, running a technical group at work, teaching after work, a volunteer webmaster, singing in the choir, playing gigs, and maintaining 15 articles a week spread across my blogs. Fast forward to today, I work 30 hours a week, my daughter is about to enter middle school and doesn’t need me as much, and I produce 5 articles a week. No other volunteer commitments or other jobs. The problem is how I spend my time. I spend far too much time reading trash and surfing.
Too many tasks. This is just a perception. I have gotten to the point where my lists seem overwhelming. My project book is full of current and want-to tasks, most of which are in some state of incompletion. I make little progress on those, and routinely blow through things that I really need to do, such as exercise.
I decided enough was enough. I was going to get past these two things.
I declared a Finish It Week.
I went through each of my projects and really assessed it. I pulled out 12 projects that weren’t really started. I tossed 5 that I decided I didn’t want to do. And for those that were left, I decided if it was to the point where one or two actions would finish it up.
I found that 6 out of 8 active projects are ones that can be finished this week.
So I did what I do so well: I made a list. Of all the steps that it would take to complete each project.
Then I started working them into my daily tasks. I also decided to clear off my one-off lists of tasks that were just a single action but not necessarily important.
Today, the first day I worked it, I completed 18 tasks. Most of these were part of the Finish It Effort.
This is doing two things for me…first of all, it is clearing the decks of the bulk on my lists. I know myself…if there is too much on the list, I feel overwhelmed and I don’t do anything.
The second thing it is doing is convincing me that I do have enough time if I choose to use it wisely.
I am excited about this. Tomorrow has a bunch of tasks assigned, and the following day will finish things up. I will be lighter, less tasked, and able to concentrate on the fun stuff once this week is over.
Have you ever tried something like this? What were your results? Share below.
Photo by Seattle Municipal Archives. Licensed under Creative Commons.