Really. Everything. I’ve got a list of things I want to accomplish from here to the moon. My house is littered with new projects that find their way to vacant tabletops. My computer is on overload from new business ideas. My shelves are packed with books on random skills and other topics of personal interest that I want to become more well-versed in. My mind is floating in a sea of creativity and ambition. I really and truly want to do it all.
By the same token, and perhaps more importantly, I want to get it all done. Everything I want to do, I also want to complete. To check off accomplishments on that ever-growing list.
But that list only continues to grow (unless the moon is just getting closer…), while the check marks become fewer and farther between. And then there’ s the matter of prioritizing. I want to do everything, but which one should I do first?!??!?
Indeed, today’s post encapsulates all of the challenges of doing it all and getting it all done at the same time. Let’s contextualize: It’s been nine days since my previous post (which, incidentally, was about starting the year off on the right foot). What’s taken so long is a melange of indecision and procrastination: I was fickle about which topic I would write about, so I kept stalling the writing process. I devised some pretty trite excuses for the delay, most notably of which is the fact that I had more important things to do, that I had to focus on my top priorities. Next thing you know, 2011 is well underway and I’m finally picking up the proverbial pen. But not without a host of consequences: those top priorities are in dire need of my utmost attention and I’m now casting them aside (temporarily) as I compose an entry that’s fundamentally about casting things aside (temporarily). Not only that, but those same top priorities, which I considered such top priorities over the last nine days, were themselves cast to the back-burner in favor of other tasks on the list.
Basically, here I am procrastinating procrastination. Interesting.
So how can I not only do it all, but also get it all done?
- For starters, I am an advocate of lists. Umm… check. This should not be just a laundry list, but rather a list of goals. If you want to learn to play the piano, set a target: Is it to become the next Bach or, perhaps more realistically, to learn to play the Minuet in G major?
- Schedules are key. Let’s start with two. One is a general schedule – a calendar, I suppose – for mapping out your priorities (i.e. due dates, etc.). The other is a specific schedule – daily, weekly, take your pick – that transforms those top priorities, as well as those not-so-top priorities into tangible action items. The latter is a list that should scream check marks!
- My mom always says: “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Read: keep your stuff in order and put things away when your done. It keeps your mental space just as clutter-free as physical space. (Also, if “organize room” was on your list, well, now it’s not.)
- Finally, periodically review your lists, schedules, and progress. Everything is flexible, so rewrite your lists as you see fit and alter those schedules if priorities shift.
My take-home message is this: I can do it all AND I can get it all done. But it won’t happen overnight. Things take time, but as long as I map out my objectives, I will reach my goals.
And so will you. Give it a shot.
What about you? How do you do it all and get it all done?