Sunday, June 20, 2010

How long will it take?

I read about a real estate agent who bought some nice framed prints to decorate the walls of the sales office, but thought it would take a day to hang all the prints, so kept putting it off.

The prints sat on the floor of the sales room for over a year, until once day he got sick of it and thought 'I'll just put one of these up this lunch time'.

Thirty-six minutes later, he had ALL of the prints up on the walls and the office looked great!

Inaccurately estimating the time it will take to do something can tempt us to procrastinate. We assume the task is much bigger and more harrowing than it will really be. We then spend many more hours and mental energy thinking about the task than it would take us to complete it.

Start today

Look at your 'to-do' list and make an estimate beside each item of how long it would realistically take you to complete it.

Bunch the quick and easy tasks together and add up the total time it will take to get these things done.

Find slots in your diary and schedule the tasks in, along with a reward for getting through them.

You might be surprised at how much easier and faster some things are to accomplish than you anticipated.

Out with the old...

Wintry long weekends are fabulous for de-cluttering.

We've spent most of ours sorting through wardrobes and making space by putting together 'hand-me-down' parcels for my sister, only to have her do the same thing in reverse for us, so I'm not sure how much space we're creating but it certainly feels therapeutic to sort things out.

We also had a leisurely afternoon tea at a gorgeous tea house called 'Adore Tea'. Watching the steam rise out of the glass teapot, (heated over a tealight candle), hearing the soft chinks of china cups and breathing the aroma of 'cafe latte' flavoured tea was unexpectedly relaxing.

Start today

De-cluttering gives you a sense of power, control and orderliness. Chunk down the task and attack one area each day, even if you've only got time to do the cutlery drawer at home and the pencil jar at work. Getting your workspace and home under control will make it so much easier to make the most of your time in both places.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Staying on track with complex tasks

Are you a big picture or details person?

The key to staying on track with complex tasks lies in being able to move easily between the two perspectives.

Start today

Once you decide on your goal and create an action list, ask yourself if there is an easier way of achieving this.

When you're bogged down in detail, remind yourself of the big picture. What is the purpose of this task? If what you're doing does not fit in with your core purpose, stop doing it.

When you're focussed on the big picture, remind yourself of the steps you need to take to reach your goal.

Operate at each of these levels and perspectives and move between them often to manage complex tasks well.

Think of yourself as a master painter with a big picture in mind, painting intricate details and standing back for perspective to check that you're on track.