I continually have to remind myself that I need to stay focused on what’s immediately on my plate. I think I’m like most people, I keep a to-do list handy and check off my top three items each day that I know are the most important short-term goals in front of me. It’s the old KISS principle – keep it simple, stupid.
One of the things I’ve learned is that I can fall into the habit of over-thinking those top three items I want to accomplish each day. I list them, then I expand them, then I build a map which begins to wonder and the next thing I know, I’ve actually created 15 new items to add to my list!
So, as a small task, I’ll keep this brief. To stay on track and monitor my progress, I simply list my three top priorities and allow myself no more than 10 words to remind myself of the most important goal I’m trying to achieve. Here’s an example from earlier this week:
Top 3 Goals Today
#1 – Finish edits on xxxxx magazine. (just edits, don’t change anything structurally)
#2 – Outline strategy for xxxxx’s new consumer-facing website (keep it simple, just the big picture)
#3 – Write up job description for xxxxx. (Use yyyyyyy’s description as template)
So, what I’ve done is to list my top priorities and then make a quick note to myself in order to keep myself focused. I interpret them as small tasks. Keep it simple. Knock them out. Move on.