How much have you got to do?


Lots. Far more than you (me, or most other people) have the cognitive energy to deal with without help. There’s too much to do, with too much complexity and change. And that’s without the new emails, notifications, phone calls, and banner ads that are going to be clamouring for your attention this morning.

Yes, you can default to who or what’s shouting at you latest and loudest but that means sacrificing much of your ability to work proactively on the high-value projects that make the difference.

Latest and loudest doesn’t make any allowance for relative importance, it’s just a measure of urgency. Often someone else’s measure of urgency too, which is unlikely to match up with yours.

Disappearing down your preferred social media rabbit hole for half an hour is another trap that's easy to fall into when you're feeling overwhelmed.

Both of these are a much easier choice to make than facing the mammoth task of figuring out next year’s marketing budget proposal, especially when you’ve no idea how or where to begin.

So how do you deal with everything that you want to do so that you're consistently focused on the high-value projects and still handle all of the low-value stuff that gets in the way but still needs to get done?

First, you need to separate thinking about and deciding what you want to do from actually doing it. Once you've decided what to do you need a system to hold those actions that you can trust without needing to remember everything. Then you can narrow down the choices that you have to something much more manageable. It’s key to giving yourself a game that you can win.



Chris Beaumont