In this week’s podcast, I answer a question about how to do everything on your to-do list every day.
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Episode 196 | Script
Hello and welcome to episode 196 of the Working With Podcast. A podcast to answer all your questions about productivity, time management, self-development, and goal planning. My name is Carl Pullein and I am your host for this show.
My guess is, if you are listening to this podcast, you will be using a task manager or to-do list of some kind. And, you will likely have discovered that you have a lot more to do than time available each day. You are not alone. There is far more to do than we will ever have time for. But that does not mean it’s a lost battle. There are things we can do that will ensure the right things are being done each day so things that matter do get done.
Now, before we get to the question and answer, I strongly recommend you download my area of focus workbook. Part of the answer to this week’s question is really understanding what is important to you. Without this knowledge, you are going to be like a rudderless ship. Just sailing round and round with no clear destination.
The link to the download is in the show notes and don’t worry, I won’t be asking you for your email address. Just go to my downloads page, click on the Areas of Focus workbook, and boom, you get it.
Okay, it’s time for me now to hand you over to the Mystery Podcast Voice for this week’s question.
This week’s question comes from Lucy. Lucy asks: Hi Carl, I recently discovered you through your blog and I hope you can help me. I am trying to get more organised but no matter how hard I try, I can never get all my work done. I don’t know if it’s a problem with me or something I am doing wrong. Can I ask if you get all your work done every day?
Hi Lucy, thank you for your question. And I can answer it in one word. No. No I don’t get all my work done every day.
There’s too much to do. But I do start the day with a list of objectives or outcomes I want from the day and with those, I generally do get them done.
Let me explain.
On most days I will have around twenty to twenty-five tasks to complete. These tasks include my prioritised tasks as well as my routines. Now, the way to start with this is to understand that while we can control what we do each day we cannot control how much time we have. Time is fixed. The only variable in the equation is your activity.
Now, activity can be affected by a number of things. Our energy levels, whether we got enough sleep, outside events such as family emergencies, client and customer demands, and our bosses. We cannot control these. Our energy levels and how much sleep we get depends on many things. You might wake up with a cold which makes you feel dreadful, or one of your children wakes up in the middle of the night and cannot get back to sleep. There are just too many variables here.
Yet the clock will keep ticking no matter how you feel or what emergency you come into work and face.
So we need to get strategic and to do that we need to ask a simple question each day. What do I want to get accomplished today?
Imagine you’ve been on a two-day training course and you have not been able to stay on top of your email and messages while you were away. You could begin the day with an objective you get your email and messages under control. That might take you two or three hours, but if you have decided that is one of your outcomes for the day, then you open yo