Just wanted to share two great tips that I came across very recently.
Randy Murray writes about getting better grip on your projects, getting to understand what is that a project should deliver. Quite often people procrastinate on things, put them off as much as they can simply because they don’t understand what’s required from them. They weren’t told what’s the purpose of the project. A list of actions to complete is not enough, it doesn’t provide any context to a project. It simply says get it moving, get it done.
A solution that Randy proposes is to write a project abstract. Write couple sentences outlining what’s the project about, why it’s important and who benefits from it. This might help you get a fresh energy to work on that project.
I think this is a great advise especially if all your focus is on cranking out next action steps. After a while it can become dull and boring. Making a project abstract or writing down the successful outcome (vide GTD) is a good way to remind yourself where are you going. Envisioning success can be uplifting and revitalizing. Previously dull and boring project will now look like something real and alive, it’s much easier to put your energy in it.
Second tip is from Jason Womack. In below video he talks about meetings and in the wider context making the most of your time when plans are changing. You were due to attend a meeting but it’s been cancelled. What do you do with that extra time? How do you react to a cancellation? Jason points that rather than getting busy with your email or organizing your stuff, find 2-3 things you would do if you had an extra time. You’ve just been given an extra 1h of time.
This is so simple and powerful idea that it can be easily overlooked. In majority of workplaces we are pressed for time so those unexpected “time windows” where you’re scheduled to do something else are great opportunities. I think it takes some practice to shift from busy work to working something more productive. It’s super easy to burn hour checking email.
Start thinking that you’ve been given an extra hour and make a habit of spending that time on tasks that are important to you. Keep your task list updated and current so next time someone cancels a meeting you know what to do.