Thursday, August 26, 2010

ON BLOGGING ~ Go Me!...

Image courtesy Sponge Bob!

Last week I was listening to an archived panel about time management techniques from a recent online conference. Although the featured expert, Janet Bailey, had lots of helpful insight, it was event organizer and panel moderator Terry Kate who had the most awesome time management suggestion I have heard in a long time. I like to refer to it as the "Go Me!" approach.

Everyone knows that the To Do List is a big time management tool. It is supposed to help you organize your thoughts, prioritize your tasks and keep you focused on the job at hand. I for one love the feeling of getting out my pen and putting a big slash mark through an item on my list. However, Terry Kate brought up a different perspective on the old To Do List. The fact that it causes pressure.

That damn list can get so foreboding sometimes. All of these big tasks or important but annoying items to be done. The list has them just staring at you - reminding you of your shortcomings. Your laziness. A peek at the list can send you running to your e-mail, Twitter or Facebook accounts to pass the time more pleasurably while procrastinating the day away.

Terry Kate's solution to this pressure is to ditch the To Do List entirely. Instead, she starts with a clean sheet of paper and creates an Accomplishment List. How awesome is that?!

Every thing that Terry Kate does throughout her day goes on her Accomplishment List. She starts off small - Take Shower, for example. Take Walk For Coffee. Things like that. They are important. Getting up and joining the waking world is a big deal, especially if your day is spent working at home. These tasks get her going and help her to build up steam and motivation on her Accomplishment List.

Now instead of a never ending list of things to do, she has an encouraging list of things she's done. Woo-hoo! Go Me! Maybe next is tackling that research she was hoping to get to. Or washing the dishes. Finishing an ARC needing a review. Go grocery shopping. Tinker around with her blog design. Do the laundry. Reach out to that blogger with connections to a network she wants to be a part of. Organize her photos. These things that start as ideas and become accomplishments are less stressful than when they are presented as a big list of things hanging over your head.

Making a list of accomplishments is a lot more enjoyable than making a list of things to cross off. Sometimes, a simple way of approaching things from a different perspective is all it takes to change your mood, mindset and motivation.

10 comments:

kaye said...

back in the 80's I went to a Franklin Covey training. Their "to-do" list is a method for "prioritizing". The gist of it is that you make a list then prioritize the items. At the end of the day you check off what got done, drop what became unnecessary and roll the rest over to the next day. It's a pretty low pressure method. I use it whenever I have days that require it, for me not everyday requires a plan.

Gwen@ChewDigestBooks.com said...

My problem with to-do lists is that I am inherently lazy. Unless I carry around a small notebook in my pocket, which isn't gonna happen, I will not go and write something down on a list. Add that to the fact that 9 times out of 10, if I do manage to make a list, it isn't going to be near me when I am ready to tackle it.

I mentioned that I was lazy right?

My latest solution to all of this, um, laziness is to have a small task list on google and a pretty good grip on the calendar feature. I have it email me 24 hours before something is due.

I do keep a gratitude list in my journal. It is amazing how much better you feel when you focus on the good parts of your day as opposed to the crappy parts. As per your suggestion, I will make sure to add a few tasks that I have accomplished to that list.

Sandy Nawrot said...

That Terry Kate, she is something else. Go her! Great idea really, if the to-do lists stress you out. Actually, I happen to like them. I guess Franklin Covey did their job on me. I am a huge list maker. If I don't have several going at once, I feel wayward.

Matty said...

I usually just keep a short list in my head. I don't actually write out a list until the one in my head gets too long.

Kathleen said...

I SO need to have an accomplishment list so I can take the pressure off myself. This is wonderfully, simple idea but could change my life! Ha (or not so Ha!)

ds said...

Go you! I tend to make lists & then lose them (hopeless, right?). Then I rewrite them, inevitably leaving out the one thing that was most important...

cardiogirl said...

I love Patrick, so it was fun to see your picture up there.

This is so interesting because I love a good to-do list and use them frequently. But I *view* my to-do list as a potential accomplishment list. I don't feel the pressure, I see the list as opportunities to feel accomplished.

Does that make sense? I still like the idea of an actual accomplishment list though.

stacybuckeye said...

I don't think I can give up the list. I make a daily list of 6 things - they can be small or large - and yes they cause some stress (especially when something keeps getting put on the list because I keep putting it off), but what's life without a little stress? ;)

Beth F said...

I love making lists! But I rarely look at them. No wonder I'm always playing catch-up. LOL.

The idea of an accomplished list sound great for stress relief.

jehara said...

I like this idea!
Although, I kind of already do it. I will write things down that I have already done just so I can cross them off!