What Should You Focus on Today?

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Okay, this is not one of those posts that gives you a formal method for prioritizing your to do list once and for all. That’s not really my style. Here’s a post about not prioritizing, though.

Today I’m offering you a different way of looking at figuring out what to do next. A way that I hope will make you go, ahhhh. Because a bunch of rules to follow about what to do when just makes you cranky sometimes. Here goes:

Do the thing you’re inspired to do.

That’s it. When you are feeling full of good juju about a project, the work you do on it is going to be fabulous. And you’ll feel good about it. What could be better, I ask you?

Now, this might sound like you get to wait around for the muse and you can just go eat ice cream because you’re inspired to. I’m betting that eating ice cream is not on your to do list, though (because, really, no one should need to be reminded to eat ice cream. That’s just scary.).

To be clear, we’re just talking about the things you’ve already decided are a good idea to do.

We’re also not talking about the stuff that has a looming deadline. Yes, you have to do that stuff. The projects that don’t fall into that category are all prospective candidates for your work-energy today. So work you do on any of them is progress.

If you’re totally in love with all your projects, fantastic! You still have to choose something to work on now, today, because we live in a space time continuum that does not allow you to work on more than one thing simultaneously (even multitasking is not truly simultaneous. And I don’t recommend multitasking anyway.

This actually does dovetail with more standard advice about prioritizing, that you should use your most mentally alert time to do work that requires you to think hard. Use your low energy times for shuffling papers and sorting emails.

This strategy will bring out your best work.

When you pick something to focus on that inspires you, that project gets a rush of happy oomph to move it forward. And you’ll feel great. Did I mention that part yet?

Get out your listy list and scan down it, hunting for the thing that makes your heart sing. Whee! Then go do it and bask in the fulfillment of doing great work.

10 thoughts on “What Should You Focus on Today?

  1. Music to my ears – “I don’t recommend multi-tasking”.

    How wonderful! All multi-tasking does is lead to a massive decrease in my efficiency and productivity. Love the message Claire!

    • It’s true. I think some folks multitask because they find it hard to focus on one thing. Or maybe it’s related to learning style. For example, I’m not an auditory learner. When I’m on a conference call or webinar, I need to doodle in order to keep paying attention. It keeps my hands and eyes busy, but not so busy that I don’t listen closely to what people are saying.

  2. Music to my ears – “I don’t recommend multi-tasking”.

    How wonderful! All multi-tasking does is lead to a massive decrease in my efficiency and productivity. Love the message Claire!

    • It’s true. I think some folks multitask because they find it hard to focus on one thing. Or maybe it’s related to learning style. For example, I’m not an auditory learner. When I’m on a conference call or webinar, I need to doodle in order to keep paying attention. It keeps my hands and eyes busy, but not so busy that I don’t listen closely to what people are saying.

  3. I’ve recently taken to rolling dice when I can’t decide which of my frightening to-do list to do. I over-rule them once in a while, but it’s working ok so far.

    • I like that! I can see how it removes the anxiety of having to decide and feel responsible for your decision. A variation on that is to write your tasks on index cards and shuffle them. Then, pick a card. Any card!

  4. I’ve recently taken to rolling dice when I can’t decide which of my frightening to-do list to do. I over-rule them once in a while, but it’s working ok so far.

    • I like that! I can see how it removes the anxiety of having to decide and feel responsible for your decision. A variation on that is to write your tasks on index cards and shuffle them. Then, pick a card. Any card!

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