Have you ever screwed your future self over because you didn’t do something in the easiest moment but left it for ‘later’?
And then when ‘later’ arrived, there were other things vying for your attention and you found yourself shaking your fist at past you, wishing you’d done it back then? Yes… me too. But I’ve developed habits that help with this immensely. Let’s review!
Need the info!
1) Be descriptive in all your notes and calendar entries
Whenever you write a note to yourself or create a calendar entry, include as much detail as possible.
I say to my clients that anyone should be able to pick up that note and understand what that task is about. That’s how you know it’s clear.
No good = Call Sue
Great = Call Sue Morgan (0450 399 664) about Monday’s Southbank workshop starting time
See? Which one would you be able to pick up and run with knowing nothing more about this call? The second one right?
Why’s this important? Because every time you are looking at a piece of information your brain is having to go back to its ‘files’ and pull out details to take the next step. If you have everything already laid out for it then, boom! Minimal retrieval needs to occur, leaving you with more brain power for more important things and making that next step easy.
2) Batch tasks and ideas together by content, person or activity
Rather than dipping in and out of tasks and then realising that you could have done B + C when you’d had everything out to do A, – start batching like and like together. Save up like tasks together (as long as they are not urgent) and do them in one hit (or regularly if that fits the task type). This helps your future self because your valuable brain power is used strategically and not in a scattergun approach.
Just Do It!
3) Do it now if it’s going to take you less than 10 minutes
There’s nothing worse than putting something off and off. Remember my post about emails and the likeness to children opening a present after present? This is a reminder to do just that.
If something will take you less than 10 minutes, do it now. If it’s going to take longer, add it to your calendar and use the first point above to make life easier for future you.