I love to read! it is an insatiable fetish that I have. I never had it until I hit my mid twenties and then I was hooked. I read everything I could get my hands on. Currently I am reading a book that was recommended over and over again by friends and mentors and even a bunch of podcasts I listen to. The book is ‘Getting things done’ by David Allen. I am one chapter in and already it is changing the way I work… and I thought you needed to know the wisdom to be gained from him.
Setting goals and commitments has become a major part of our daily life and all to often we leave work with a massive list of things to do and complain that we are to busy and stressed to deal with it all. The tips I have picked up just out of the first chapter have begun to beat back the beast of my task list.
First, clear you mind and put it on paper.
We all try to keep life in some sense of order. Most of us do it in that black hole between our ears called a brain. It doesn’t work. One of the slurs leveled at the profession of youth work and it’s amazing youth worker’s is that we are unorganised. Partly this is true because we are staying flexible to deal with the flexibility in our clientele. Partly because we are unorganised. Lets own it! I am one of the most unorganised people I know. If it is not written down I forget it.
Get it out of your head and put it down on paper. Have a clear TASK. A good TASK is on which is SMART. Get it out of your head and into a place where you will find it. A To do list, an outlook task sheet or an excel spreadsheet. Wherever you put it get it out of your head and on to a system.
Second, clarify your commitment and what you really need to do.
Once you know what task you have to accomplish, set your action plan. What do you NEED to do? a phone call, a meeting or something else??? Set a clear ACTION for yourself.
Third, once you have set a goal set reminders in a place you will be reminded.
Ctrl-Shift-K is one of the most useful shortcuts I ever learnt in Microsoft Outlook. It sets a new task for your task sheet and gives you all the ability to implement it. You need to be reminded of what TASK and ACTION you are committed to. Put it in your diary. Please tell me you have a diary!!! Be reminded about your TASK and your ACTION through regularly REVIEWing your task sheet.
Define your TASK set your ACTION and REVIEW regularly.
And don’t forget to read the book.