The “to-do list’ can be deceivingly evil. It can kill you.
For some, this death comes from a growing list with no end in sight, leading to suffocation. For others, exhaustion is the official cause of death through a gallant quest to outrun it. Imagine, if you will, the hamster on the wheel running faster and faster, but never quite reaching its destination.
I’m addressing this topic because I see this problem time and again with clients, colleagues and yes, myself. I think the root cause is always simple — a lack of clarity around priorities. In other words, most tasks on the “list” are given similar weight or worse, tasks are addressed when one or more becomes the squeaky wheel.
All “to-do’s are NOT alike
Each time I think about task management, the four quadrants from Steven Covey’s classic book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, come to mind:
Of course, the objective is to work within quadrant II as much as possible.
I will admit that this can be a challenging for me at times. My personality type requires some urgency to get my attention. For example, I’m writing this blog two days before it’s due! Will I ever learn?
Nevertheless, each time I proactively direct more into quadrant II, my accomplishments get bigger, better and more freeing.
Clear Vision leads to Clear Priorities
Let your vision be your guiding light. As you and your team better define where you’re going and how you’re going to get there, the tasks will more naturally fall into place.
Want to meet in Quadrant II? See you soon!
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