Every great artist has a vision before s/he starts working on her/his grand idea. Being productive requires that you have an organized plan before you begin any project. Jackson Pollack may have made it seem easy, but he always had a plan before he began.
Organizing your thoughts before you begin any project is a vital tool for your success. Even a great artist like Steven King wouldn’t just throw down words on a page without a goal. You wouldn’t see Marc Cuban throwing his money into a startup without checking into their strategy. They set out a plan and stick with it.
Every project has some level of creativity to it, so there needs to be some flexibility to account for weird occurrences. There will be times when you will get interrupted. People who work happy are usually successful because they understand that time, people and a myriad of other problems will affect a project. It’s their responsibility to deal with them and get back to the initial plan.
Lists are one of the best ways to do this. Write down a list of your five most important things that you must do today. Next to your item write how long you think it will take. If you only have eight hours to do your work and you expect your list to take you ten hours then you have to adjust your list by breaking down the bigger jobs into more specific jobs.
I have a touch of ADD and my list is my “go to” plan throughout the day. I usually get sidetracked in the middle of a task. I account for this and add fifteen minutes to all my tasks.
My list for last Saturday was:
I didn’t have 7 and half hours to work on my blog. I only had 5 and half hours. So I took an hour from my two least important tasks, which brought me down to five and half hours. I’m not a super efficient worker, but that’s okay. I don’t want to work like a robot. It makes me happy when I can get carried away researching some new plug-in for this blog. Giving myself a little freedom to get off track allows me to still feel good about the work that I do accomplish.
You may want to set a timer next to you before you begin each task. There are some days that my thoughts are so scattered and I can’t harness them without a little help. That timer ticking down forces me to stay in the moment and work on the task I assigned myself. It's a little extra pressure to get my task done.
If I finish my task early (this rarely happens) I assign myself a fun task. I watch some clip of some skateboarder crashing into a guardrail on Youtube. If I’m feeling really passionate I write an email to someone that I’d like to interview. I love writing those letters; there is just something cool about interacting with an intelligent person who has knowledge that I seek to learn.
Try getting your thoughts into focus and create a little plan before you begin work. You should notice that you are accomplishing more and working happier.
What do you think? How do you organize your projects before you complete them? Share your tips with other readers by posting a comment.
Rick Kirschner, who is an expert on communication was kind enough to do an interview with me. It will be posted this week. It brought out some great nuggets of wisdom and it's an interview that you'll want to pass on to your friends. He also has a teleseminar, Communication Tune Up, coming up at the end of July. Check out his site and see if it fits your needs.
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Image courtesy of Hopkinsii
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