Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Does it Feel Like Groundhog Day to You?

In the movie, Bill Murray keeps reliving the same day until he learns a valuable lesson that frees him from the maddening sentence of sameness.

Sometimes we all feel like that.

Our days run together and our tasks pile up faster than turkey leg bones at a Renaissance Festival. Our grand ideas of doing better, doing more and expanding our business are lost under the clutter of everyday tasks.

If you’re looking to break through the rut, consider creating a weekly plan.

For those of you who loathe day planners more than toddlers loathe turnips, don’t panic. All you really need is fifteen minutes, a piece of paper and a pen.

And if you want a margarita, too--well, good on ya.

Step 1:

Spend a few minutes writing down what’s on your mind. No organization needed here and punctuation is optional. What are you worried about? What ideas do you have that you wish you could implement? What nagging tasks really need your attention? Getting all this clutter out of your head and onto paper can do a great deal for your mental clarity.

Step 2:

Write a simple list of five things that must be accomplished in the coming week. Assign one task per day and tackle it first thing in the morning if at all possible. Having a nagging task hanging over your head every day can wear you out; getting it crossed off creates positive momentum that will carry you through the rest of the day.

Finally, choose one new thing that you’ve wanted to work on—such as a new workshop schedule or researching a new product line-and write down your ideas.

Step 3:

Put the ideas in a drawer.

Ignore it for a week and then pick one thing each day that will move that initiative forward. It can be as simple as a phone call or as lengthy as a report. Just pick one thing and give it your enthusiasm and attention for a half hour.

I call this the “Things I Love, Things that Nag Me List.” By getting it down on paper, I can finally break out of my rut and get something accomplished outside of my daily routine. I cross a tricky task of my list and get a new project moving forward.

Now, where’d I put that margarita?

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