One of the things I’ve noticed about myself is that I seem to perform better if I’m in what I like to think of as rhythm. A lot of times when I start feeling overwhelmed or overloaded I’ll try to take a step back and look at the way I’m living. I ask myself some simple questions:
1. Am I keeping to regular schedule? Meaning:
- Am I getting to bed at around the same times?
- Eating at around the same times?
- Generally performing activities at the same times.
2. Am I giving myself time to get things done properly? Meaning:
- Am I managing my time blocks so that I can fully complete one task before moving on to the next?
- Am I managing my to do list so that I have a realistic chance of completing everything on it?
- Am I budgeting time to standup, stretch and eat?
3. Am I doing things properly? Meaning:
- Am I multi-tasking? In my experience nothing kills real productivity like the illusion of productivity that comes with multi-tasking.
- Am I reading what I write once out loud before I hit send, thinking before I speak and pausing before I leap into action?
- Am I delegating the things I can and allowing others to help me succeed?
Most of the time when I start feeling crazed I can run down this list and figure out pretty quickly where I went wrong. For me the big ones are over scheduling, under delegating and managing my time blocks. Do any of things on this list make your list of ways to drive yourself crazy?
Thanks for this post. It hit me just at the right time. Deadlines are getting crazy and I was just thinking this morning that I need to re-look at my daily routine. Thanks for the pointers on what to ask myself. One other question to add to the list is: Do I have the right/appropriate things at the top of my to do list– are my “A” items really the most important?
I love the “A” items idea. I know I often spend a lot of time on working the things on my list I enjoy first. This is not the right way to prioritize. Finding and working your “A” items is definitely the way to get things done efficiently.
#3, ah yes, that is where I get clobbered, in particular, the multi-tasking. I’ve finally, after years of being told to multi-taksing is possible, started to push back with the realization that I’m not being productive at all, I’m just doing three things at a sub-par level.
The other two from #3 I do relatively well. Nice post.
Bobby – thanks for the kind words. I think everyone learns they can’t actually do three things well at the same time the hard way. It’s kind of a shock to the ego, but I’ve gradually and grudgingly come around to the fact that its simply not possible!
I agree with the post, too often it is easy to get on the whirlwind, and we have to refocus to get back. I would add take some time to plan ahead.
That’s great, is also important to know when to break out of your routines. I just wrote something about grooves and ruts as well…