It's a challenge I think everyone faces. People will say, “Oh, I'm sorry to bother you. You're so busy.” Well I know that person, and they’re as busy as I am. Everybody has things that are pulling at them. I know many people like me who fall into this trap of “If I can just get my email caught up, if I can just get my inbox empty…” And it lasts about one hour, then I wake up and it's full again.
I think it’s a false sense of accomplishment to say your life will be organized once you have your inbox under control. It's a false goal. Not to say we shouldn't work on that, but I learned from my organization and from Stephen Covey a tried and true way to manage my time and energy.
Every Sunday night, I look at my week and the things I've already committed to. Can any of those be changed if they need to be? Are they still the most important things I need to accomplish? What’s the most impactful thing I can do this week for each of my most important roles?
I decide which task, appointments, or commitments are my highest priorities, and then I lock them in my calendar. I don't know what's going to come when I walk in the door every morning. But having done that exercise on Sunday night—while I don't execute perfectly on the week—I stay much closer to the plan, than if I didn't do that pre-planning.
There have been some Sunday nights when I have skipped that process. It has been a dramatically different week. It doesn't work to say I'll do it Monday morning, because the challenges already hit.
Managing time and energy is and will be an ongoing challenge, I think for everybody. I don't know anyone who does it perfectly, but I do know some who do it better than others. And it's because they planned their week around the things that are most important to them in their personal and professional lives.
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About the AuthorMore Content by Todd Davis