Remember that episode of Seinfeld when Elaine had to select her horizontal mambo partners verrry carefully because all of a sudden, contraceptive sponges were in limited supply?
She asked her dates a lot of questions, she set boundaries and raised the bar. They had to qualify to be sponge-worthy. I thought of that this morning as I prepped my white board. I also thought, holy schnikey, it’s September already!
With each Post-it note I put on my board, I'm committing time, attention and energy to it. I’m making a conscious choice. Clearly each must be carefully considered. I mean, once it's on my board it's gonna get done and if I do it right, there'll be a very happy ending in it for two people. Getting the right things done to move both me and my client FORWARD - progress is happiness! (yeah, dirty bird, that kind of happy ending!)
My white board is primo real estate. It’s my visual representation of how I’m going to spend my week, my day, so I'm not slapping just anything up on it willy-nilly. As I go, I ask myself:
Is this task Post-it Note worthy?
Will doing this get the result I'm after or is there a better way?
Have I considered the size of the task?
Is this something I should do or should it be delegated?
Is it doable in an hour or so? If not, break it down further.
When I take it to the board, I filter my priorities again. Everything starts out in the Pending section, (Is this relevant to my immediate goals or is this a down the road thing?), then the priorities get moved into the This Week section, then the top three tasks are moved into the Today section. Moving the Today Post-it's into the Done section? Pure ooh yeahs!
This system kicks overwhelm in the shins. What goes on a Post-it must be worthy of that Post-it. What goes on my white board must be worthy of the time that I'm giving to it.
Choose your to-do's wisely. Not because there’s a risk of Post-its being in short supply. But because, our only true limited resource... is time.
I like having a white board, it works for me but you don’t need one. You can use this method with Post-its on a wall, a board, behind a door. I use Super Sticky Post-it notes because they don’t curl and fall off even after sitting in the pending section for weeks or months.
P.P.S. Yes, that does say “Get Shit Done” in the frame to the left of my white board. :D
Here’s a clip from that Seinfeld episode for your amusement. Enjoy! LOL