I always enjoy The Pajama Diaries by Terri Libenson. Maybe it’s because I have a home-based-business and have a couple of daughters just like Jill (oh her name starts with J too), but I feel that I have often been in her shoes, and know that much of her humor is from real life.
But you don’t need to own a home-based-business, have a couple of daughters, and be named J….. to relate to today’s comic strip. Jill has met all her deadlines early in the day, and has some available free time to catch up on other things. She actually has many other things she could do—a personal to-do list—but cannot decide what to do. Consequently, she freezes up, and accomplishes nothing.
Whether it is a To-Do List for work, or a personal To-Do List, when everything is crossed off there is a feeling of euphoria that you have x number of hours to do whatever you want….and that list is long as well. So how do you decide what to do?
Do you even have a To-Do List? If not, then create one, it can be on your smart phone, on your computer, or written down. The items that you put on the list are up to you, but each day, or each week, you should plan for what you want to accomplish. Those items, in turn, should be tasks that are in concert with your overall goals. Jill (above) had some deadlines for her clients and you may have the same; these obviously take priority. Once completed you could choose to work on items that have been on the back burner while the deadlines were met, or on other tasks that will ease things for you for the rest of the week. Keeping in mind your primary work goals will help guide you.
The same rules apply to the the personal list. Did you have a New Year’s Resolution to exercise more often, devote more time to a hobby or organize an area of your home? With no focus of a goal, or Resolution, many individuals become overwhelmed (like Jill), and fail to accomplish anything.
When you are deciding what to do next, consider your own rhythms. Are you more creative and focused in the morning? Is there a time of day that you slow down mentally, and need to work on tasks that are less challenging? Plan tasks accordingly and your time will be spent much more efficiently. Unfortunately, we tend to procrastinate more on those tasks that are not as enjoyable as others. Again, let your goals be your guide.
Finally, dedicate blocks of time to various tasks, and devote yourself only to the task at hand. If you decide to make some changes to your web-site, and need to do some research, setting a timer and/or reminding yourself to stay focused will keep you from getting lost in cyberspace. Or if you decide to start organizing the kitchen with no set stopping point, you could potentially have created a bigger mess when it is time to make dinner.
I hope you built in time for relaxation too…..
Thanks for reading,