There are 5 keywords that control my daily workflow and spring me into action. Combined, they focus my work and function as a strong base for my daily operations. Along with my tool (IQTELL) and method (GTD), they help me finish my tasks, regardless of interruptions, the number of chores on my list, or their complexity.
These 5 keywords control the way I address my obligations, help me accelerate work and funnel it in a way that is convenient to me; so I avoid making promises I can’t keep or juggling balls I know I will drop.
You are probably using these words too…
“Not Now” – Prioritizing
Knowing which tasks not to do is critical. Knowing the right time to do certain tasks helps me commit to the right tasks at the right moment. Working according to context saves a lot of wasted time and effort. If you know you can get something done quicker at the office, don’t consider it anyplace else.
By simply rescheduling the tasks to a more convenient date and time (namely “not now”), I’m helping to keep my workflow stable. I am focused on what needs to get done.
Remember, when I say not now…I mean later, not never….
“That’s it” – Knowing When to Quit
Sometimes you begin a task, and little by little you understand that it might take too long, but by the time you have red alarm signs swirling in your mind, it’s already too late.
When I get that feeling that I’m going to overshoot the time needed for a task, I stop immediately. I assess the situation and estimate the time remaining. I immediately search for possible solutions to help me finish that task before it becomes a “whole day task”.
When I’m saying “That’s it”, it means that I know I can do something better with my time and that a reassessment is needed.
“Let Me Check” – Reviewing and Keeping Lists under Control
Are you the kind of person who checks his to-do list after completing it? The answer is probably Yes if you completed the entire list on time…why is that you ask? It’s quite simple; it’s much more fun to review accomplishment.
Nobody loves to review failures, but alas, it’s an important stepping stone on the road to efficiency. By staying in touch with the things we miss and repairing mistakes, we keep in touch with our goals and make sure that everything we planned gets done. It also helps us manage future tasks and projects effectively.
I’m always checking my work because overconfidence makes us believe we don’t need to change anything….and there’s always room for improvement in an unfinished list.
“Can You?” – Delegation Makes You Richer
Are you the best person for the job? If someone else is more capable than you to do a task, let them do it. They may be “better” because of skill, time, etc. Estimate the “costs”, it may cost money to outsource or future favors that the delegate may call in. After a quick cost-benefit analysis, delegate anything where the benefit outweighs the cost. Do you need reasons? Isn’t your time a good enough reason? People who delegate are people who value their time.
Delegation must be driven by the desire to do more, not less…
“Will Do” – Creating a Commitment
Not sure that you’ll find the time today to do an incoming task? You know that there are other tasks waiting for you down the pipeline but it’s important for you and you need to get it done? Great, simply acknowledge that you received it and transmit your commitment to do it to the sender and yourself by saying – Will Do!
By creating a simple written commitment to do the task, you force yourself to prioritize it. This exponentially increases the probability you’ll get it done. That’s what committing to do a task does; it puts a spotlight on it so there’s no chance it’ll get overlooked.
Your words represent your professionalism, experience and image. When you say you “Will Do” something you should put your entire weight behind it…