No. 81 Don't Put Off Until Tomorrow Things You Could Do Today

2019 Oct 29, 2019
I’m a ‘Last Minute Worker’ - I work best to a deadline. It has always been my way, although it took me years to recognise it.
The events of 2019 have meant that I have had to move away from this deadline driven model which has served me so well and learn a new way. 
Well, because my deadline focussed way clearly works well when you can rely on things... when you can be certain about what will be happening from day to day, but it is not so good when you can’t rely on stuff. 
As many of you know the one of the key features of 2019 has been my health issues and my cancer diagnosis and treatment. What that makes for is a period where things are very uncertain. You cannot be certain which days will be good, and which will be bad. You cannot be certain when you will be at home (and able to work) and when you may be called into hospital at short notice. 
Deadlines whether externally or personally set suddenly become less reliable. 
This change has not been an easy one for me to take on board. 
In my work over the years in the Public Sector I have often found myself being very frustrated by a prevalent way of thinking where Teams have developed a culture that ‘puts off’ action - making numerous ‘excuses’ to justify inaction. 
I’ve worked with Teams that would spend twenty minutes to tell you why they cannot do x, y of z - a task which would only take five minutes to deliver!
It is extremely inefficient and mostly really annoying! When and why did this start?!
I want to prompt you to seriously consider the merits of ‘Front Loading’. 
What is front loading? 
Put simply is is a whole new way of thinking for many people (and organisations) 
Which will see you schedule your commitments and work in detail to ensure that everything gets done as quickly as possible, No delay. No excuses!
So, you plan your week - ensuring that you can schedule things in to the earliest time slots available to you. On Monday you set out your week ahead and do as many things as possible for Monday. 
Then on Tuesday through to Friday block time in the first hour or two of the day to get your important tasks done. 
One of the tools that I have always used, based on this principle, in my Public Sector work and more latterly with the individual Business Owners that I currently Coach has been to encourage people to apply a systematic process for getting things done called
The Four D’s. 
Why not try it and see if it can help you to take charge of your To Do List. 
Take your To Do List - Now take The Four D’s: 
D1 - Do It (If the task will take less than 5-10 minutes to do now!)
D2 - Diarise (Schedule) It (if a task takes more than 10 minutes schedule it in to your diary for a specific time in the next day or two)
D3 - Delegate It - (If you have people who work with you, employees or outsourcers pass the task on to them to deliver quickly for you)
D4 - Delete It (sometimes things reside on your list for quite some while without getting done and when we eventually look at realise that it is no longer relevant). 
So, do you put things off rather than just getting things done? 
What about trying something different for a while and seeing if it serves you better?
How about doing the simple stuff ASAP - no excuses
Until next time, 
As ever, 


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