Do you have days when you are cast down thinking about all the unfinished tasks that need attention? Are you overwhelmed by the work that lies ahead of you?
I’m sitting at my desk looking out the window into my garden thinking It’s Wednesday, already, and there is still so much to do this week. I cannot concentrate on writing so I go into the kitchen to brew another cup of coffee. While there, I catch myself looking at the dishes on the rack, the coffeemaker that calls for a descaling, the crumbs on the floor which I haven’t mopped since three days and the thought of having too much to do keeps dragging me down.
I’ll have to admit that laziness and procrastination can cause these kinds of pressures on me (I wrote more on that in my post Getting Things Done At Home) However, at other times this is due to something else …
A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Wish (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
Our goal is to achieve things, e.g. finish writing that book, having our house in order, being able to play the instrument, right? We can wish to reach our goals all we want to, if we don’t have a detailed plan of the steps ahead we might as well keep on wishing.
Whenever I struggled at my former workplace to tackle the huge pile of documents on my desk, my boss usually said: “It’s all a matter of staying organized.” This used to make me angry! But you know what? In a sense he was right, at least up to a certain point. Not having a clue about how we will reach our goal will become our biggest enemy on our way to success.
We shouldn’t be kidding ourselves, of course, by taking on too big of a job or by not having enough time to accomplish it. Planning ahead based on time estimates only will get us into trouble or even cause us fail. We need to be realistic and so we cannot put more tasks on our list than we can fulfil in a given time. How many things can we get done within a day? It’s best to find out by using a stop watch to time every single task and then writing down the exact minutes it took to be completed.
Set your goal, then create a step-by-step plan that will help you stay focused and reach it. Work towards it! Expect more or less detours. Be flexible but press on and stay encouraged — looking forward to reaching your goal.