Getting ahead of your own curve.

Curved glass walkway purple light

It’s hard, always feeling like you’re chasing around trying to get everything on your list done. 

Imagine how good it would feel to know you not only had everything in hand, but that you were actually a little bit ahead. 

There is a positivity to being on top of the things you need to do, the sense of control combined with the additional freedom to step away from the schedule and do something unplanned or a little self-indulgent is so good it is almost addictive.

Being ahead of the plan also means you have a buffer if something unexpected comes along (although possibly not enough to mitigate the kind of curve balls I mentioned last week).

The trick is getting there; I have 2 suggestions that help me keep ahead of the task curve.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with stuff to do take the following diagram and put the things on your current list into the relevant boxes.

Done that? Good. It doesn’t matter is you’re not completely sure where everything goes, you can always move things around , the more often you do the exercise the easier it will become to recognise where various things really belong. 

Everything in the bottom right box should be disregarded. These are the things you can do when you are ahead of the curve if you really really want to.

Everything in the bottom left box can be ignored too. Chances are nothing bad will happen if you don’t do them and they will simply go away, or you could potentially give them to someone else.

Things in the top right box don’t need doing right now so you can plan out when to do them which takes the immediate pressure off.

Things in the top left box – get them done! Or at least as many as you can each day. This should be significantly easier given you have identified and cleared out all the stuff you don’t actually need to do.

Want to read more on this method of tackling tasks? You can do that here.

Having reduced your jobs list to just the critical items, things should feel a bit more manageable, but in order to really get ahead you need to be regularly crossing more things off than you are adding to the list.

Applied at the most basic of levels, if you want to get on top of the weekly washing, do an extra load on one day instead of just the usual number. A small extra step taken regularly will quickly put you into the black and build up the breathing space to take on something bigger when needed.

It’s not rocket science but it’s easily forgotten in the midst of everyday life. Just take a moment to breathe, re-assess, plan and do.  

If you have time to do something in your 4th box (or 2nd box if you rate my ramblings), I”ll see you again tomorrow.

Donovan.

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