GTD Hack - Put the Big Rocks on Your Calendar
I woke up this morning knowing that I would run out of day before I ran out of things on my Task List. Like running out of money before you run out of month, it's not a good feeling. When the day is over, I want to feel like I've really accomplished something. This feeling is hard to acquire if you never see the bottom of your list. In fact, a feeling of closure is an essential human need.
So, when you are feeling like the world is bigger than your word, it is time to establish a hard landscape. What do I mean by hard landscape? Consider this analogy, when you are on the ocean, it is hard to see how far you've gone. This is the same thing that happens when you are constantly adding and removing items from your multiple goals, projects, and next action lists (or in my case Bubble Maps). On the other hand, a hard landscape is terrain that doesn't change. It's like climbing a mountain. When you reach the top, you know where you have been and what you have accomplished.
As I said before, a feeling of accomplishment is an essential human need. In fact, it is the fuel that fires our motivation. It is the foundation of hope, and the reason that we can persevere. So, how do you establish a hard landscape? It's really easier than you think. Simply take your favorite calendar program and perform the following actions:
- Quickly review your goals, projects, and actions and ask yourself, what is the most important thing that I must do today?
- Block out a large chunk of time to devote to the item that you have selected. Generally, it is best to set aside 1 to 2 hours for a project, then take a short, mental break.
- Repeat until your day is complete
Be sure that the items you select will move you toward your goals. Once you have established your calendar for the day, stick to it. Eliminate all other distractions and focus on making progress on whatever you list. If you must check e-mail and voice mail throughout the day, block time out on your calendar for those activities as well.
Establishing a hard landscape and sticking to it will help you establish trust in your system and in yourself. When you start to trust yourself, you develop confidence. Confidence in your ability and your word will put you on a path of progress. Like a snowball, little victories will soon gain enough momentum to be a powerful force.
Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.