It is another hot (surprise!!) summer day here in Florida – but this particular blog post is less about perspiration and more about organizing.
Self-organization, to be exact.
Self-Organization: “Priorities” and “The Big Picture” vs. “Sweating the Small Stuff” (?)
When it comes to organizing (be it yourself or something/someone else), setting priorities and recognizing the proverbial “Big Picture” are both essential skills. When you have a small window of time (as in a deadline) for an important task, prioritizing that particular task is probably a no-brainer.
I mean, you cannot clone yourself, and multi-tasking does have its limits, right?
So you focus on the task at hand and ditch/defer/postpone some other to-dos that you consider to be less urgent and/or important. I get that – I do it in some form or other every day.
The important thing is to keep in mind that just because something is small, it is not necessarily unimportant. To give you a picture:
A bit of grit as such might not be a big deal, but if that piece of grit happens to be stuck…
- in your eye, it can cause quite a bit of irritation.
- between the gearwheels of an intricate mechanical device, it might block them.
In other words: You better take care of it then!
The art of self-organization means understanding, whether and when that small stuff gets important and/or time sensitive – or if it’s even something that is always of importance …
BUT I am digressing, as I had actually not been planning any extended “soapboxing” about productivity. If you want to start reading up about productivity, time management etc. you can find loads of literature about these topics.
One thing I would like to add though is that when you embark on finding the right productivity tool/method, try to find the one that works for YOU, your personality and individual situation. Between clustering your tasks, the Pomodoro Technique, and David Argen’s “Getting Things Done” – there is a lot out there!
What is your Small Stuff?
So – what WAS I going to talk about, anyway? What kind of “small stuff”?
Well, it depends a bit on your occupation and personal situation – as always, I am trying to be careful with blanket statements and one-size-fits-all “cookie cutter solutions.”
Let’s say, if you happen to be an accountant or mathematician, attention to detail is probably your second nature, and you’ll know much better than I, what a difference even a single wrong decimal can make.
My small stuff, my little things, are tasks like:
- actually reading some of the newsletters in my inbox that I’ve subscribed to
- overhauling old blog posts re. their SEO
- creating mind-maps to de-stress and to tidy up what Sherlock Holmes (or rather his creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) calls the “Brain Attic“
- taking care of some procrastinated-upon emails
- filing away some paperwork
All things that are easily neglected… but sometimes it can feel really good (and help) to take care of them.
What’s your small stuff? Let me know!