On a regular basis I write a list of largish works that need to be completed and tape it to the side of my computer. These are jobs that I think are going to take a bit of time, need a block of time for focus, but which aren’t urgent.
This week, the list had not changed, bar one or two things, from last week. Still had those jobs that needed some focus and some time. However, when I actually found the time and focus, found that I didn’t really need that length of time or that much focus.
So how did the big jobs become smaller? A couple of reasons I think:
- they weren’t as big as I thought they were – which I think for these roles was part of it
- I had been thinking about aspects of the work and therefore had it ‘half’ done by the time I came to do it.
Even though I wasn’t deliberately working on any of these tasks, I was thinking about them at various times, so by the time I came to actually do them, they didn’t take anywhere near as long as I expected.
On the other-hand, I do tend to overestimate how long it is going to take me to do something – a habit I got into I suppose because I hate to be late.
Other tricks to make big things small are to:
- Reassess – does it really need to be that big
- Simplify – does it really need to be that complicated
- Forget it – does it really need to be done at all.
Which makes me think there are a few things on the next list that may not need to be there at all……..