More On Organization…

November 16, 2009 7:45pm
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Note Rule: It shouldn’t take longer to “put it on the list” than it would to actually just do it.

So I caught myself doing something this morning that might give a little insight about my concerns of not being able to make progress on my to-do lists. In preparing to mail out my car payment, I noticed that we were out of mailing address labels … looking back, we’ve actually been out for a couple of months, but I’ve kept putting off printing out a new sheet until today. And it finally dawned on me as I was pulling up my latest to-do list on the computer to add this latest task that not for nothing, but in the same amount of time that it would take me to pull up the spreadsheet and add it to the list, I could just as easily be pulling up the label template and printing off another sheet of labels instead!

Even with also having to replace an ink cartridge and print a test sheet, the whole process took me maybe five minutes, so instead of adding it to the list and hand-writing today’s envelope, now that’s one less minute task to burden down my list. Taking it a step further with this new realization, I also noticed a couple of other seemingly silly items on my list, so about ten minutes later those were both done as well, and thus I managed to knock out three tasks that I’ve been putting off forever in less than 15 minutes.

Now it seems trivial and I know that it wouldn’t apply in every situation because sometimes I either come up with ideas for other projects while I’m already in the middle of working on something else or even a task for home comes to mind when I’m out driving around that I simply can’t address right away, but in general I think this will prove to be something worthwhile to keep in mind because I know that my lists can tend to get bogged down with mindless, 5-minute tasks like these and if I can avoid allowing them to muck up the process and hold me back from focusing on more substantial efforts, then I think it would be a few minutes here or there well spent.

In giving my list a second pass after completing these items, I think I’m a little better off than I was before, with each remaining item now being upwards of 30 minutes or in some cases much longer, and I think that’s the kind of stuff that I need to be reminded of anyways. Ultimately, I think it’s still ok for short tasks to appear occasionally, but there needs to be a little more substance to the reason for not addressing them right away … you know, something more than “I don’t feel like it…” or other such laziness, anyways! 🙂

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