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04 May

Six ways to get the weekly run-through done

Datum: 2016-05-04 15:04

One rather easy way to increase your abil­i­ty to plan in advance in your work is to every week do a run-through of your to-do-list, the overview of more exten­sive tasks and projects, and the next few weeks in the cal­en­dar. If we do this, we will become alert­ed if there is a task that needs to be pri­or­i­tized for the next week so that we do not have to work over-time as the dead­line approaches.

If you are famil­iar with the Get­ting Things Done”-method, you know very well what I am talk­ing about. And you will most like­ly have expe­ri­enced that it is easy to repeat­ed­ly post­pone doing the run-through. It might be easy to con­sid­er the run-through as not being very impor­tant, and that it is bet­ter to just do” things instead of paus­ing for a moment and get a bet­ter grip on our sit­u­a­tion. Doing the run-through can eas­i­ly turn into a sour­dough” — a task we pro­cras­ti­nate over and over again.

Avoid the anx­i­ety and get going
But after a while we will suf­fer the con­se­quences of our pro­cras­ti­na­tion. We might real­ize that the impor­tant meet­ing which we should have begun com­pil­ing mate­r­i­al for is on Mon­day already!?”.

A client calls and asks why we have not got­ten back to them as promised, and it turns out that since you did not set a dead­line for the task regard­ing call­ing her back, it fell into obliv­ion and fell to the bot­tom of the to-do-list. When our col­league asks us to sum­ma­rize what progress you have made in that side-project you are work­ing on since you last spoke about it, it occurs to us that we have com­plete­ly for­got­ten about it since the last meet­ing. It hurts to tell them the truth, and we swear to our­selves that nev­er again will we post­pone doing the run-through, but next Fri­day we have a few more things which real­ly need to be com­plet­ed before the week­end and we end up post­pon­ing it once again.

So how do we get the week­ly run-through done every week?

Do this
Here are six strate­gies to make you stop post­pon­ing it. Just pick and choose.

  • Make the run-through more enjoy­able to do. Sit down in a place where you are left undis­turbed, where you sit com­fort­ably and where you sim­ply enjoy sitting.

  • Add a lit­tle sug­ar to it. Reward your­self with some­thing you like after check­ing off every item on the check­list, and going through it will sim­ply taste better”.

  • Increase your will­ing­ness to do it by clear­ly illus­trat­ing what the poten­tial sce­nario after not hav­ing done the run-through will be. What con­se­quences will your neglect­ing the run-through have? What do you risk miss­ing and how would you feel if you did? Paint a vivid pic­ture which illus­trates the poten­tial­ly awful sit­u­a­tion and hang it where you will be sit­ting on Fri­day after­noon and see it as you are con­sid­er­ing if you should do the run-through or not. Describe in present tense how the sit­u­a­tion is unfold­ing as if it was hap­pen­ing right now, and there­by give your­self an indi­ca­tion of how it would be to expe­ri­ence the ter­ri­ble con­se­quences of skip­ping the week­ly run-through.

  • Low­er your ambi­tions. Even if it is great that you were ambi­tious and eager to do it whole­heart­ed­ly to begin with, ask your­self if you real­ly need to do all the steps on the check­list every week? Could you choose to do a few of the steps on a month­ly basis instead?

  • Start with the small­est steps first. Change the order in which you do the run-through so that you start with the eas­i­est steps first, and there­by low­er the thresh­old for get­ting start­ed when you do not feel like doing it.

  • Estab­lish the habit. Set the goal to car­ry out the week­ly run-through every Fri­day for five con­sec­u­tive weeks. Think of a way to depict your grad­ual process. You might for instance tear off a strip from some­thing, draw a line, crum­ple up a paper, fill out a cir­cle. Also think of a reward to give your­self when you have man­aged to do the run-through five weeks in a row. Book a mas­sage, buy the expen­sive bot­tle of wine, have a real­ly tasty lunch, or make the reward some­thing else that would moti­vate you.

Be relieved of last-minute-stress
If you pre­vi­ous­ly tend­ed to skip doing the week­ly run-through but from now on get it done, you can be sure that you will increase the abil­i­ty to plan fur­ther ahead in your work. You will not have to do things last minute to the same extent as before, you will not have to sit up late the night before dead­lines, and will have plen­ty of time to refine and go over your mate­r­i­al before that big pre­sen­ta­tion. Believe me, it is worth the effort.

How do you get bet­ter foresight?
How do you get your­self to do the week­ly run-through with ease every week? A pen­ny for your thoughts… Share in a comment.