VOL. 126 | NO. 41 | Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Smart Stuff 4 Work
Decide What to Do, What Not to Do
“To do, or not to do; that is the question.”
OK, William Shakespeare was right. In the grand scheme of things, being is more important than doing. After all, we are human beings, not human doings.
However, as a practical work-life matter, right after you decide “to be or not to be” each morning, it’s a good idea to ask yourself what you are going to do for the rest of the day. But don’t stop there. Also ask what you are not going to do.
How you begin your day is incredibly important in terms of your productivity. How you get started on any event or task often sets the tone for how the middle and end of the event or task will progress.
When you get off to a good start, the rest often goes smoother. When you get off to a bad start, the rest often stays bad. This works in golf, relationships, careers and your life in general.
Your life is made up of events called days, which make up weeks, which make up years, and so forth and so on.
For the most part, life erases the board each day and allows you to get off to a fresh start. That is, unless you choose to continue the previous day’s drama.
Therefore, one of the most sensible things you can do if you want to have a good day – and a good life – is to simply get off to a good start every day.
Rather than mindlessly plunging into tomorrow, living a perpetual-sameness life, why not make two good decisions that will help you get off to a good start? Why not purposely and consciously decide first thing in the morning what you are going to do and what you are not going to do?
Don’t make this hard. Simply think of the most important thing you need to do tomorrow and do it first thing in the morning. Don’t allow anything, any person, any e-mail, any text, any tweet, or any phone call to distract you from whatever you believe is most important to you (not what is important to someone else).
If you do not know what is most important to you, figuring that out is the exact thing you should be doing first thing in the morning. If you do not get in the habit of doing this, you will be doomed to living a channel-surfing life with someone else at the controls.
Some of you will desperately want to make this idea more complicated than it is. Don’t go there!
What are you going to do first thing tomorrow? What are you not going to do?
Chris Crouch, author of “Getting More Done” and other books on improving productivity, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.