One simple way to simplify

A simple and helpful perspective shift from Josh Collier:

I felt like I couldn’t get anything done. The Tyranny of the Urgent wasn’t just a struggle, it was my daily reality. Not able to do what I love most, I found myself totally discouraged.

So I asked my friend David Achata for help. He said he’d recently discovered that the more goals you attempt to accomplish in a given day, the fewer you will actually accomplish. I know, I said the same thing: David, that sounds totally backwards!

But it’s actually true.

The concept isn’t about planning or goals or priorities. It’s about margin. When you try to accomplish too much in one day, then you don’t have any margin. Each interruption or additional task doesn’t receive attention, delegation, or deferment, it receives frustration – but only because so many tasks and goals were planned that there is no space for the unexpected.

David suggested that I start each day thinking about the number one goal for the day, answering this question: If I could only accomplish one thing today, what would it be? Then, plan a max of two other goals, considering one goal for each third of the work day: morning, mid-day, and afternoon. Need to work on an appeal letter in the morning? Goal one. Lunch meeting? Goal two. Early morning meeting the following day to prepare for? Goal three.

This daily activity I still practice changed my tyranny of the urgent to the tranquility of open margin. Try it for two weeks – I guarantee you’ll experience less stress and greater productivity.

Learn the full how-to in David’s short blog HERE.

What are other simple ways to simplify?  Join the conversation at @infosmallchange #ascblog

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