Posts Tagged ‘prioritizing’

The 12 Stress Less Days to Christmas: Day 2

December 14, 2012

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Day #2: Focus on the important and urgent things first 

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be tempted to do the things you enjoy first, and/or those small tasks that don’t take long.

Either way – you win! You’ve either enjoyed doing the task, or you’ve ticked lots of the smaller tasks off your list, giving you the feeling of more achieved.

This feeling tends to be short-lived and can soon be replaced by a growing sense of anxiety, because the bigger / less desirable things still haven’t been done.

Try this as an approach instead …

Split your Tasks List into 2 columns:

 ‘Important & Urgent’ and ‘Important & Not Urgent’

Put your tasks under the appropriate headings, and tackle the ones under Important & Urgent first. As time moves on the ones under the Not Urgent list will move into the Urgent list, and get done then. Either way, you’re giving the important stuff greater priority than perhaps you’d done before.

Things that are large tasks – split them into smaller ‘bite-sized chunks, and do a bit each day.

If they are tasks that you keep putting off, do them whilst listening to your favourite music, or whilst sat in a really comfortable chair, or change your environment in some other way to make the task more palatable.

Alternatively – if all else fails, take the plunge and just do it! Just do it

Don’t waste time thinking about how you feel about doing it, or coming up with lots of excuses  (guilty, m’Lord!)

Enjoy ticking those trickier tasks off your list! 🙂

Make time for the golf balls

February 13, 2011

28 Day Blog Challenge – Day 13

This weekend I’ve made a conscious effort to spend quality time with family/friends and give myself a break from the usual routine. I believe it’s important to get the balance right between routine, rest and time with others whose company you enjoy.

A great example to highlight what I’m talking about here is the following short story. Some useful and thought-provoking messages within:

The Mayonnaise Jar and the 2 Cups of Coffee

When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “yes”.

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now”, said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognise that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things … your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favourite passions … and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else … the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical check-ups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first … the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”