Tell Me Why I Don’t Like Mondays
By the time I made it to my desk I knew what it was: I have too much to do! My to-do list is so long that there’s just no way it’s all going to get done this week. I am defeated before I even begin. And I bet you can totally relate!
This would be a good time to buckle down, right? Yeah, I think so, too – but instead, I go wandering off into cyberspace. (Yes, I know this is a counter-productive maneuver…but when I get into these moods, the self-defeating thing takes on a life of its own.)
Luckily, though, I’d recently cached something away for just this kind of occasion – a short piece by one of the great gurus of getting things done – in fact, the guy who wrote the book, “Getting Things Done” – David Allen. Allen begins: “One of the most bizarre phenomena I have encountered in 30 years of working closely with some of the brightest and busiest people in the world is how difficult it is for most to grasp the idea of what a “project” is and to consistently manage inventory of the same.” Okay, I’m sitting up – I’m curious to know if I’ve got my definition right on “project,” and he goes on like this: “I have a radical definition of a project: anything you’re committed to finish within a year that requires more than one action to complete it.” Come on, really???
Ok, ok…I’ve come this far – so I decide to make my list of projects. OMG. A little overwhelming – but also pretty enlightening. Whereas my “to do” list was feeling like a long laundry list lacking priority, my project list hits me really differently. My projects have meaning and purpose. And interestingly, as I look at the list, natural priorities jump out at me.
So I’ve still got a very long list of things to do, but suddenly my list is kind of energizing. I can see purpose to all those tasks, and I can see I’m going to feel like I’m getting somewhere because I’m advancing projects instead of just doing “to do’s.” We’ve all got “too many things to do,” but when the stakes are as high as they are in this business – any assistance to focus and clarify the things that will make a difference – the things that will move the ball down the field – is appreciated. The heck with the Boomtown Rats, I want to start liking Mondays again!