My pursuit of freedom has brought forth copious amounts of self evaluation. Some hard truths I did not want to face. Others I embraced with open arms. The truths we don’t like to face are often the result of a path that meets a lot of resistance.
We quickly form habits. After a long day of work we don’t feel like doing much. We want to kick our feet up and relax. I found that this became more than a habit.
It became a routine.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to do anything it was more of the fact that I did not care enough. I had no reason to work towards something bigger and better. By not caring, I was able to write things off and put them aside. The result, my life became a backlogged mess.
How did I change this? I’m not going to lie – this was probably one of the hardest changes I had to make. There are times where I don’t want to do anything at all. It is when these thoughts cross my mind I have found I must exercise my discipline and just do it. It’s usually little 5 minute tasks that seem menial that we put off the most. But, like most credit card bills or drained bank accounts, it is all those stupid little $5 purchases that add up.
The fix to this problem was a struggle at first but became easier with time. It got to a point where I reversed my psychology. I actually became stressed or unsatisfied if I DIDN’T do these quick little menial tasks. I found that by completing these little tasks I felt no remorse afterwards. I didn’t have anything nagging me in the back of my mind that it needed to get done. It was just done. The reward was the very thing the entire blog website is about – time. I was accruing more of it.
This actually enabled to me make other, more important things my primary focus. I began to prioritize things much better and was now able to dedicate more time to these more important tasks.
How do I prioritize things?
I use what is called the Eisenhower Decision Matrix. It works like this. Make a list of tasks that MUST get done and write them down. It can be in Word, Excel, on a notepad, post-its, wherever. Next you put each task through the following tests:
- Is it important AND urgent?
- Is it important BUT not urgent?
- Is it not important but urgent?
- Is it not important and not urgent?
And then follow the directions in each quadrant.
“Important & Urgent” tasks: should be your primary focus, have the HIGHEST priority level and should be completed most likely by the end of the day.
“Important but Not Urgent” tasks: often times these are tasks that don’t have a deadline yet but are long term goals and require attention sooner rather than later.
“Not important but Urgent” tasks: tasks you can delegate to someone else to take care of for you but if you must you can take care of them after completing the tasks in the first two quadrants.
“Not Important & Not Urgent” tasks: may vary due to opinion but should probably be scrapped all together. These tasks are the least of priority and should wait until you have some spare time to complete or really evaluate their contribution to your progress.
Once I figure all of this out I then apply something I love called the Ivy Lee Method.
At the end of the day, make a list of 6 tasks prioritized from highest priority to least priority (this is why I use the Eisenhower Decision Matrix). First thing the next day, focus strictly on the first task and ONLY the first task until it is completed. Then proceed to the next task. At the end of the day, each task that did not get completed is moved to the top of the priority list for the next day. Rinse, and repeat.
To keep track of my progress I write this down into a notebook. I loved it so much I made it available for print on demand on Amazon for myself because I could not find anything like it. If you are interested here is the link: Productivity Planner
I have found these practices to be incredibly useful in my progress. They have helped me move the “mountains,” and will help me move the “future planets,” I spoke of in my other post.
What mountains have they helped me move? And what planets will they help me move in the future? I’ll explain in another post to give it the attention it deserves. It was life changing.
I hope they help and if you need more info on them feel free to Google them. I obviously did not invent them but there is plenty of info on them. I can tell you that you will find some of the richest people have implemented them in the past and many of the richest people implement them today.
How are you going to implement these strategies to help you succeed? If you have your own techniques and strategies share them in the comments below and help each other out!