As we head into year-end holidays, take a deep breath and remember the sayings, “first things first” and “easy does it.” This is a good time of year to make lots of lists, so that you can more easily take care of “first things first”! Once the list has transferred all those racing thoughts out of your brain and onto the page, you can analyze how each item fits into your time schedule. I usually write a deadline next to each item on my list so that they are automatically prioritized. When I do this, I don’t waste precious time on something that doesn’t need to be done until next Friday when I have three things that need to be done by this Monday. Once I know what items need attention first, I start on the first item whether I want to do it or not and I see it through to completion. I then move on to the next item and work on completing that item. I call this “easy does it” because we can often get overwhelmed even by a prioritized list. Disciplining ourselves to work through one item at a time, step by step, makes it feel like we really only have one thing to accomplish instead of many. Focus equals efficiency, and before we know it, we are crossing an item off the list! A long list of crossed out items can then become quite rewarding because we have a tangible reminder of what we’ve accomplished!
Using this technique with students can help them with busy times as well. My students use a goal check sheet rather than a time check sheet. They are expected to work on at least three of their goals, six days per week. This offers them an “easy does it” on busy days, because they can accomplish goals that are less time consuming when their time is limited. They can also prioritize goals related to performance deadlines, “first things first”, so that the most important goals are attended to first.
I wish for you all a happy, healthy, joyful, productive season relatively free of the stress and frustration of being too busy. Just remember to tackle “first things first” and go about things with an “easy does it” attitude!
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