THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow
  • Chris Barrow

A Friday morning riff on not getting everything done



It has been 9 weeks of relentless daily overwhelm.


During the 05:15 to 06:45 morning ritual at my desk, I make a list in my Full Focus Planner of everything I have to do and prioritise the list:


  • A - must be done today;

  • B - it would be nice if I could get this done today;

  • C - if it doesn't get done, it's not the end of the world.


I'm very good at focusing on the A's first.


The challenge is to avoid the multiple interruptions and distractions that tempt us away from focus.


Sometimes, when I feel under the pressure of deadlines (like this morning - I have a thousand-word article that must be in by lunchtime), I will go into DNDD mode - do not digitally disturb.


I'll switch off my iPhone and close down emails, social media and Slack on my desktop, so that nobody (not even Team CB) can disturb me.


That's only sometimes though and I accept that if I don't do that, there may be the "ping" of incoming or a FaceTime call from Phillippa/Rachel for that "have you got a minute" conversation.


How good am I at GTD - getting things done?


I took the opportunity this week to reflect upon how much of each day's list is actually completed.


The reality is that I'm getting through about half of the list every day.


The tasks that is miss are either carried forward to the next day or they drop off the list as they are replaced by other tasks or become irrelevant as external forces have moved them on.


I may have missed some boats but there was nothing I could do about it.


Bottom line is - I don't get everything done and I have forgiven myself for that - there simply is too much to do and I'm not making myself ill (and less effective) by working more hours or unpopular because I don't take enough time off.


I have re-educated myself many times over since lockdown that, as high performance coach Lee Evans says, there's a difference between high achievers (who get everything done but at the cost of burn out) and high performers (who get the right things done but retain their balance).


You will hear more from Lee next Tuesday morning, when we broadcast the podcast he recorded with myself and Ashley - it's a cracker full of personal performance gems - watch out for that.


For now - like me - work hard to day, take the long weekend off if you can - and get some rest.



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