It’s been a slow week for me this week – I have been recovering from this virus but I have tried really hard to stick to the tips from last week to get back to a healthier sleep pattern – I am making some progress – a little more to follow on that later. This weekend has been crazy trying to catch up on nearly two weeks of tasks. I was off work all last week but I am feeling much more like my usual self now, it’s pretty late on Sunday night while I finally get to sit down and write this and I know this week will be doubly busy while I try and catch up tomorrow on a weeks worth of emails as well as catching up with people and getting on top of what needs to get done. It’s just like coming back from any period of time off or a relaxing holiday, you feel ready to get back to work but you know that within 20 minutes or so you will feel like you have never been away and the volume of work facing you can feel overwhelming.
I have looked into loads of productivity methods over the last year or so that I will share with you all in the coming posts, but one of the quickest – that you can spend just a minute (or two) on when you really need to sort the wood from the tress – is taken from Michael Linenburger’s book – The One Minute To Do List. There are three key aspects – Michael suggests taking two pieces of paper:
- Sheet 1 – split into two sections:
- Section 1 – Define what is Critical Now and make a list of anything that you must do today – he suggests spending no more than 20 seconds on this and only catching a maximum of 5 actions.
- Section 2 – Define your Opportunities Now and make a list of things that are not urgent but if you could find time to work on them today you would – these could be things up to a week or 10 days away – he suggests 20 items or less as this can be added to through the day and it’s suggested that 20 is a maximum number that can be digested at one glance.
- Sheet 2 – Over the Horizon – here you list anything that can wait 10 days or more – anything that is on your mind to get done at some point!
Michael suggests that by just spending 1 minute putting pen to paper can you reduce your anxiety and give you the breathing space you need to think – he suggests carrying the list with you everywhere so that you can add to it as thoughts and tasks come up throughout the day.
As suggested review periods the Critical Now list could be reviewed as much as hourly, the Opportunities Now list daily and the Over the Horizon list can be reviewed weekly. He suggests making a note of any deadlines, (where these are known), for the Opportunities Now and Over the Horizon lists, so that when it is appropriate actions can be moved to the Critical Now list. It’s also suggested that where possible you should capture start dates rather than due dates to stay on the front foot.
I have come back to this method a number of times, mainly for home based tasks, as I use another method for staying on top of work related tasks as that is much faster paced – but more on that in a future post.
I have created my own very simple 2 page One Min To Do List – if you click on the link – a copy is at the bottom of the post too in case you find it useful (saved as PDF not sure it works from mobile device) – I like to keep a copy of these lists to see what we’ve achieved – it is surprising how things mount up over time when you take time to keep a track – and I use it in my monthly and quarterly reviews – again more to follow on that 😉 I am a geek sorry – (not sorry Mandy :-O). I do hope you find this useful – who doesn’t like a good list? Well my poor suffering husband for one – but even he has admitted how much we have achieved this year. As it’s says on the wall’s at work – “What gets attended to gets done” – it’s no more complicated than that.
So I will close with a catch up on the good sleep habits that I have been focusing on since last week – I have been good with the nutrition and I have gone back to reading actual books in bed to reduce the screen time. I also noted this week that Apple have also been taking the “blue light from gadgets” research seriously, in the latest iOS update there is a new feature called Night Shift that you can enable from Settings – Display – the default is something like 10pm to 7am but you can change that – I have mine set to switch on from 8pm and to be honest it’s a pretty ambient orange light – so that was a no brainer. I did cave and make one Amazon purchase, a spray that you apply to the skin which is supposed to help you absorb magnesium – I will report back on whether or not I see any benefit from that!
I hope you find the download useful – I will certainly be using this tomorrow by about 8.40am – gosh look at the time I have 3 mins to get to bed :-).
Night night all – have a great week x.
(Update: If link doesn’t open properly leave me a comment below or send me a message me on Instagram and I will send it to you by email)