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One Question to Ask When Planning Tasks

I admit, I am something of a productivity system junkie. If there is a paper, electronic, or mind-based system for being organized, I've tried it. And I am just as disorganized as ever.

Note: I have been using Evernote to store things for years, but they recently added a Task feature that has me trying a new system. It never stops....

During all that experimentation, a few good habits have formed. One that I can recommend is to ask a simple question when looking at tasks and deciding what should get done today: What will save me time in the future?

There are some tasks that are urgent and have to get done now (fewer than we think, though). There are some tasks that are repeating or regular that we have to do as well. However, there are some tasks that if we do it now, will save us time in the future. Those are awesome tasks because a little time spent now saves you a lot of time later. While it may take a bit of time now, the fact that you can save time later is a bonus. HINT: This is the purpose of delegation.

This may be something like organizing a workspace to be more efficient. It may be clearing out clutter. It also may be doing some planning that will help you down the road. This has led me to a personal realization. I discovered that I am most efficient (get lots done) in the morning, and more so earlier in the week. Thursdays and Fridays are not the best for me to get a lot done. When I analyzed why, it occurred to me that Sunday was the key. On Sunday, I tend to relax and go slow. Usually on Sunday evening, I can plan out tasks for the next few days and really think about them and be intentional. On Monday, I wake up and since I know exactly what needs to be done, I get moving. Pretty much the same on Tuesday and Wednesday. By Thursday, I've gotten many of the planned tasks done and I've gotten a bunch of new tasks that I haven't been able to think about deeply. Not having a clear plan slows me down and I can't get as much done.

I'm trying different things, but the goal is to have a "mini-Sunday" mid-week, so I can be more organized and sure of what needs to get done. I'll keep you posted.

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