When the holiday is over and a new season begins, and we do not want to sucked into the business aimlessly and rush here and there depending on what comes up that we have to deal with, but rather work consciously and with proper foresight, we need to get a quick and comprehensive picture of where we stand and what needs to be done during the next days, weeks or months.
Any new surprises?
During our time away from the office piles of various kinds have formed. They consist of, for instance, unread e‑mails to be processed, mail you have received and files colleagues have sent you. These ”piles” conceal things which need to get done but which we were unaware of as we went on our holiday.
Our to-do-list is hence no longer complete and only reveal part of what you need to do, so let us make an effort to update it.
- Sift out anything that needs to get done from all the materials and mail you have received during your absence. Read through e‑mails, listen to all your voice-messages, and go through any mail and papers left on your desk. Define anything you find as a to-do-task and add it to your to-do-list, hence making it comprehensive and complete again.
This might take quite a while to do and perhaps your calendar tells you that you are too busy to do this right now, but to be completely honest, you have the choice of either dealing with this now or push it aside, postpone it and hope for the best. Therefore, say no to as many meetings as you possibly can in the next few days until you have processed everything you have to go through and address so that you at least have as much time as possible for doing so.
- Some tasks which were left on the list when you went away for your break are no longer relevant. Remove them completely. Also wash away anything you wrote on the list with the intention of doing at some point, but which now just feels as if it adds to your burden. Relax — you will have more brilliant ideas, removing these is not the end of the world. The list should now be shorter and relevant again. Feel better?
In control and on a roll
Not until now, when we have gone through everything we received during our absence, can we be certain that nothing will get unintentionally neglected. When we prioritize the tasks we find most important at every instance, we are choosing from all the tasks we actually have to do, not just those which springs to mind at the moment. We can simply get on with our work and life knowing that everything is out in the open and no tasks remain concealed.
What is your method?
How do you get a complete and comprehensive grasp of all your tasks, projects and so on quickly? Do tell!