There’s No Such Thing as Done. Day after day, we write down our top 3 or work from a longer to do list but even if we check off every box there’s still more to do. Finishing the day with a sense of accomplishment and completion. Isn’t that the unicorn we are all chasing after? Starting the next work day with a clean slate and a new set of action items. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Instead, we just keep working feverishly to finish and rotate among items on our to-do list, emails demanding response, someone stopping by to chat, a text message from one of our kids, or just vegging out on social media for a while. Before you know it, it’s 4 o’clock and all you have left in you is finishing up an email response and scheduling two meetings you meant to do earlier.
Can we all agree that ‘finished’ is an imaginary place that we all dream about but will not actually get to as long as we work with other people? Ok then, let’s talk about what we can do, must do, to keep our sanity and maybe even regain a sense of accomplishment.
- Acknowledge that you are ready and willing to do what it takes to take back some control over your schedule and create some balance
- Take 100% responsibility for your life and admit you have a choice
- Commit to ending each day by spending 5-10 minutes reviewing what you accomplished and creating a plan, including a top 3 list, for tomorrow
- Determine to start each day reading through the plan you created the day before
- Do not open your email first! Spend the first 30 minutes of your workday getting as many of the items on your plan completed as you can.
- Put two 30-60 minutes blocks on your schedule each day to catch up on email, phone calls, and scheduling. Keep email updates turned off or close it the rest of the time. If it’s that important they will find a way to contact you.
- After you finish your workday, including your end-of-day planning session, recognize that you are finished for the day and take time to do something that feeds your soul. Maybe on the car ride home, you can listen to a podcast, audiobook or music you enjoy. Or just soak in the silence and sort through your thoughts.
Use the above list or change it to something that works for you. The point is to set some boundaries and stop waiting for them to magically appear. They won’t.