Getting Things Done: The Inbox by Trinity.

photo credit Trinity

To Do Lists function well when they’re organized, practical and move you forward. Sometimes though, you discover that your lists aren’t serving you well because they’re unbalanced.  Balance is important in order that you be able to feel that you’re meeting your own needs as well as the needs of others.

Aim for a balance:

1. Between what you should do and what you want to do, i.e. not only on what you believe you must accomplish, but also on what could simply be pleasurable or fulfilling.

2. Things to do for yourself/Things to do for others, i.e., items that will satisfy your needs as well as those that will satisfy the needs, requests or demands of significant others in your life.

3. What should be done now/What can wait until later (As much as you would like to, you can’t accomplish everything at once. Some things therefore must wait until later to be tackled. But preferably they should be the lower-value, less pressing items.)

4. What has value/What is pressing (Value has to do with importance, while pressing refers to urgency and deadline pressure. It’s tempting to react only to the tyranny of the urgent, but be sure to also pay attention to the high-value items that may have no immediate deadline but whose payoff is great.

One of the major problems in organizing time effectively results from the fact that many low-priority items tend to be pressing (the dog must be walked right now, the expense report must be prepared tonight). By the same token, the important things in life often have no deadline (there’s generally no immediate pressure to make your life more interesting or to develop your talents). The trick is to understand the difference between what has value and what is pressing so that the right things get done in the right order.

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