Decisions and Getting Things Done
Anthony Robbins is well-known for advocating the practice of making a decision every day for a certain time period, to come to an understanding of decisionmaking and to get in the habit of making decisions in general. Good advice!
Can we apply the same principle to getting things done? We can. If we're stuck in a rut where many things are started but seemingly few things are completed, we can become frustrated, bogged down, and even depressed.
Climbing out of such a state, which happens even to accomplished changeworkers (how else do we know our techniques work?) is possible. However sometimes even prioritizing tasks can seem overwhelming, so I propose a very simple approach.
Go for the low hanging fruit in such a way that you can solidly accomplish one milestone every day. Use the 80/20 rule to help determine which small projects get the greatest return, and try to knock one of those projects out a day, or at least a visible milestone.
Like paying off debt, eventually your efforts will compound upon one another and you'll be back on top. It's critical to recognize the reality of your situation, but do not get bogged down in thinking about it too much lest you become "stuck" mentally. Identify your status, identify the very next step, and then accomplish that step. Recognize that you accomplished it, then move on.
Give yourself feedback
If you're a list-oriented person, by all means keep your lists around for a while after they are all crossed off! These provide positive feedback; they are essentially reminder notes that yes, you can get things done.
There is a time for massive action, and there is a time for small, progressively compounding accomplishments. Intelligently discern which strategy is called for in a given situation, and you'll find yourself being highly effective.
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