Mysteries of a Gen-Y Confidant Rotating Header Image


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Prioritization in is a skill few have mastered, without the ability to make a purposeful and well thought out plan of action we are all helpless, maybe doomed to fail. Although there is much to be said for spontaneity, it is hard to argue that we don’t prioritize everyday. Days fly by us at a constant rate, how do you know you are making the best of each day? What are the signs and symptoms of poor planners or organizers? In business as in life, we create plans of action. In reality they are glorified “to-do” lists. Some of the qualities that you might notice of a poor planner:

  • Poor self-discipline
  • Poor personal organization
  • “Scatter” brained
  • Lack of focus while speaking
  • Multi-tasking when focus is crucial

Which tasks make the “to-do” list

How do we decide what to focus on? Most people start with the things they have to do. I start with the things based on a timeline of when they become relevant. I’m not talking about chores or errands, although necessary they shouldn’t be the main focus of your list. Make a list of everything, chores, errands, projects as well as items you would like to do, these include things like the gym or reading. Include in this list the day or date they become relevant. If a project is due Tuesday write Tuesday, or better yet use real dates.

Once you have a list, you have an outline of your most important tasks and when they need to be completed by. Although chores and errands are on the list, make sure you do them at an opportune time. I’ve found that chores and errands are best if done in the early hours of the morning. This strategy leaves the rest of the day for the tasks that require the most focus.

Go Hard, Go Smart

Once you have those done get started on your first project (whatever it is you do for work). Working at our highest level for extended periods is exhausting, we just need to get out and have fun. After a few hours of solid work a break is necessary for sanity. This is the reason that we listed the fun activities; you could have listed “napping.” Use these active/passive activities to maintain your high level of productivity, all of the options mentioned provide a good way to relieve the stress and prepare for another period of productivity.

My day usually looks like this:

  1. Chores/errands
  2. Project/work period
  3. Gym
  4. Project/work period
  5. Nap
  6. Project/work period
  7. Read
  8. Project/work period
  9. Sleep J

From this list you can see that it’s many cycles of peak performance and “rest,” actively or passively. These cycles maintain your focus and drive by providing endorphins and stimulation, as well as rest and relaxation. Without the breaks our quality of work would slowly decline.

Remember, it is not what you have to do versus what you want to do. It is a matter completing the tasks you have to do while using tasks you want to do to maintain peak performance.

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