I am guilty of eating too much and exercising
infrequently over the holidays. No guilt, but it is time to get back to the things that work in my life. What do you need to get back to? What is your base? Why are you on earth? In our leadership workshops, we create personal purpose statements to help us re-establish one's base. Mine is:
I ignite, affirm and sustain learning in self and others.
Whenever I get off track, I say this to myself. I can get manic fighting email and to mitigate that, I remind myself of my purpose. This helps me make better choices. How do you avoid the tar pit of email deleting?
Here's a quick exercise to help:
List up to 10 things on your To-Do list right now (stop at 10 please). If one of the statements below is true for one of your tasks, put a √ next to that task.
- I can get it done in 4 hours or less (uninterrupted)
- I need someone else's help to finish this
- It's been on my to-do list for more than a month
- I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with this task
Likely you have lots of items with check marks as you review your list. If there are no check marks on an item, it’s a Task. Looking at the table below, you'll see tasks belong on your To-Do list. All the other items are either projects or processes. Projects or Processes do not belong on you To-Do list. Projects belong in a Project Folder (see our books on Project Management). Processes are best tracked with calendar reminders. Your performance and focus grows when you knot the 3-5 tasks to get done that day. Own it.
Type Evaluation Definition Where does it go?
TASKS No √ Have a beginning and On your To-Do List
end, easy to check off
PROJECT Has a √ Made up of multiple tasks, In your Project Folder, NOT
have a beginning and end on your To-Do List
(although not always clear)
PROCESS Has a √ Does not have a beginning Belong on your calendar
and end (think "Payroll") (hold time to get the
repeating work done)
To summarize, powerful leaders resolve to:
- Manage the differences between Tasks, Processes and Projects
- Say Yes and No intentionally
- Speak the Truth