Some days I can plan right down to the minute – almost. A list of tasks to be done is often the easiest way to tie down your concentration for many hours. I didn’t say how often some is, note.
Of course this doesn’t work so well when none of the tasks has been given priority over the others. In such a case the danger is that I do the easiest or most novel task, and leave what ought to be the more important to another time.
Among the many wise ideas circulating these days is the suggestion that we drop the todo list, and identify life’s priority and address whatever action will reflect that priority.
Identifying your life’s priority is therefore the key task to daily planning.
So much for the theory, how does prioritising your priority work? And how does it work when you are in a job being paid by somebody else?
Let’s imagine you work in car sales. As the status of the company rises and profit improve, so does your role and status. If you make your esteem the goal then the company loses out. If you make the company’s rise your goal each day then both have an opportunity to grow.
If, on a daily basis, we commit even a few minutes to improve the company – by being polite, by showing respect to customers, by trying new sales techniques, by going on a course to develop our skills, by working extra hours – then the other daily tasks will feel like serving the big goal.
I recommend that you read some books and articles to help you plan your day with an eye on the greater goal. Anything by Cal Newport, anything suggesting times of ‘deep work’, ‘time blocking’ or ‘block scheduling’. That is how you dedicate a specific period of your working day to do the work that is most in accord with you (or your company’s) biggest dreams.
Confession time: I am very much a novice and a very poor advocate of this. But next year is a new year …
And is there a scripture? I can see this one applying as we give ourselves to help the company: “Do to others what you would have them do for you.”