We've told you time and again to make your to-do list clear, concise and specific. Want another way of thinking about it? Boil your work down into widgets you can crank.
Original photo by BinaryApe (Flickr)
Writer and podcaster David Caolo doesn't have the kind of job he had while studying, when he delivered vans full of envelopes and paper to medical offices. He now has wider projects, farther-out deadlines, and self-motivated work. But if he approaches every morning as if it was arriving at a room full of widgets to crank, he can simplify his thinking.
To find the answer, I ask myself this question: "If I had nothing else to do in the world but work on the podcast, absolutely nothing at all, what could I do right now to make progress on it?" And by do I mean a concrete, observable action. Let's say my answer comes back: "brainstorm topic ideas." OK, great. What do I need to do that? Well, a piece of paper and a pencil.
OK, but bah! My beloved brainstorming notebook is out of scratch paper. I guess I need to get more. So, the next step on the project Produce the Podcast is "drive to Staples and buy my favourite notebook paper".
That first bit — "If I had nothing else to do in the world but X, how would I make progress on it?" — is a rather keen way of looking at work that often refuses to shape up in your head.
Get your job down to cranking widgets [Unclutterer]