Prioritizing tasks

Happiness is not having what you want,
but wanting what you have. – Anonymous

Being the perfectionist that I am, I put more time and effort into this blog than I probably should. (Although you may not see it.) Sitting to my right, I have this folder filled with massive documents about anti-depressants and such that I promised myself I’d look at, no matter what. Doesn’t even matter if the subject matter is outdated by a few weeks because I think people deserve to know what’s going on.

But I’ve taken on more for this project than I’ve failed to realize. And that’s what my blog is about. Being introspective enough to see that I’m being way too perfectionistic about this. I think it’s better that I update 3 times a week with what little I have to say than sporadically with hefty posts.

So here I go… tossing anything that is too outdated or that I don’t want to really read.

It’s better for me to write about things that I can relate to, to give a better and more insightful perspective than something that is so generalized a press release says all there needs to be said. I’m also considering a linkage roundup for Fridays. It might help to me get on track with a schedule.

In one of my favorite books, Time Management from the Inside Out, author Julie Morgenstern advises taskers to “delay, diminish, delegate, delete.”

Delay:
Some tasks don’t need to be done immediately or right away. In fact,
Morgenstern points out that when people come to you with a task, it
doesn’t need to be done immediately; it’s just that they remembered at
that very moment and decided to tell you. I’m still having troubling
deciding which tasks should be delayed because I like to get everything
done in one day! (which never happens)

Diminish:
This is a tough one for my perfectionistic side. Diminishing tasks
basically means cutting corners on projects. Morgenstern asserts that
things don’t always need to be perfect for each task you do. If
you’re willing to sacrifice perfection on one project for another you
deem more important, that’s diminishing a task, which in the end, will
save you precious time.

Delegate: I’m also bad at this one too because I have a “for it to get done right, I have to do it myself” mentality. (i.e. I abhor when people move my things
around because then I don’t know where it’s been placed when I’m
looking for it; usually the person who moved it to begin with doesn’t
remember either). Delegation, however, is a great time saver –
especially for managers. Delegating is giving something to someone else
to do. A good way to figure out if you can delegate a task is to ask
yourself, “Can someone else do this?” If the answer is yes, find a way
to delegate the task. In the end, even if you have to succumb to your
perfectionistic side and clean the task up a bit, it’ll still save you
time than if you’d done the whole thing yourself.

Delete:
There are tasks you want to get to, but you don’t NEED to do. Delete
those. For example, I have this terrible problem with painful gas
buildup in my stomach. I wrote on my “to do” list: Buy Beano. Um, why?
It’s been on my to-do list for the past 3 weeks to a month. If I
haven’t bought Beano last month, I probably won’t need it this month
and therefore, may not need it next month. It needs to go. What I’ve
got (Pepto Bismol) does the trick just fine. There are things you’d
like to get to, but you haven’t GOTTEN to. Delete the task for now. You can always add it again later.

Small
lessons in time managment have helped me with my procrastinating and
perfectionistic ways because it helps me prioritize tasks in such a way
that staves off panic attacks and mental breakdowns. When you know what
you’ve got to do and you’ve got a schedule to do it, you don’t need to
be depressed! (Not about time management anyway.)

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