My niece made me laugh when she told us her fortune cookie said: “To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.” she asked “Isn’t that sort of cheating?”
Actually it is. Her “fortune” made me stop and think that for some of us this is our idea of task and project management.
We begin our day without prioritized work in front of us, “lifting things up and putting them down” without consideration of how things fit into the big picture.
Time flies by as we respond to one fire after another, attend to countless interruptions and everyone else’s priorities. Then at the end of the day we look around and say I’ve been busy. I got a lot done.
The truth is we’re confusing being busy and working on different activities as having accomplished our goals. It’s just like shooting first and then claiming that what we hit is the target we were aiming for!
I’m willing to bet that if you had taken the time to develop a list of things you really need to get accomplished for the day it wouldn’t have included the things you were “busy” doing.
So quit cheating and call your targets BEFORE you aim. Each day create a list of prioritized work that includes projects with pending deadlines, important projects we must get started that will help you reach your goal.
Ready. Aim. Fire!
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