I’ve been feeling twitchy lately—that angsty-I-can’t-sit-still feeling. Just when I start to tackle my To-Do list, darn if I don’t have to get a tea refill, or find the answer to an incredibly important question (“What is the difference between ‘copy that’ and ‘roger’?”*), or check email.
Hours later, I’m kicking myself because I didn’t get to the real things I needed, or worse wanted, to do.
You’d think it would be easy enough to just call a do-over and start again.
The guilt. The shame. The additional distractions.
So I tried something new, thanks to Tim Ferriss**:
- Write down the 3 To-Do items that are making you twitchy/cranky/angsty.
- Ask of each of them:
- If I accomplished only this today, would I feel satisfied?
- Would accomplishing this render the others on the list moot?
- Pick one that you gave a “yes” (better if there are two yeses for the item) .
- Spend the next (ideally) 2 hours (more realistically 45 minutes) working on just that.
- Do a little dance in celebration.
So I did this exercise, figuring ‘what the heck’, and lo and behold! I realized I needed to change my focus, and dove into the task, and ZOMG I made progress. Legitimate progress. And it felt really good. Like, really supercalifragilistically good.
So if you’re anything like me***, give this a shot and see what you think.
<doing a little Snoopy dance>
*According to one source, “copy that” = an acknowledgement of the information; “roger” = an acknowledgement of the information AND affirmation that you are going to act accordingly on the information.
**Tim Ferriss talks about it in detail:
***Obsessive list maker. As in “I makes lists in my sleep”**** list maker.
****Meta comment: any Rent fans out there?