I should confess. I am pressure prompted. Give me a tight deadline I’m your gal. Otherwise, I am prone to procrastination. Somewhere in the many blogs I read I came across Do it Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management and thought this is the book for me (note for quick delivery in the USA order it from one of the discount sellers).
Alas, this is not a book for procrastinators. Instead, this book is all about prioritization. How do you decide what to do today and what can safely be postponed until tomorrow? How can you optimize your time to do it all? How are you wasting time so that not everything gets finished each day?
Almost all of the secrets in this book are summarized on page 0, before the book even starts. But, for me there are several gems. Let’s talk about lists. I love to-do lists. I live for crossing items off my list. Did you know that “closed” lists are about a gazillion times more effective than “open” lists? I’ve always kept open lists. I add items constantly to the things I need to get done but the list grows and grows. A closed list is finite. The only thing it can do is get shorter and ultimately completed. How novel, how inspiring, a list that gets finished. The author strongly supports multiple closed lists.
The premise of this book is almost ridiculous and yet it interests me. Toss all of the undone items into yesterday’s closed list. Do all of the current items from today & peck away at yesterday. In theory, with good time management, you do indeed have enough time and then some to get through your daily tasks leaving time to peck away at the old stuff. It is essential to finish your lists each day. At some point, all of the old is gone, you are current on the new and life is grand. In my current reality, some of the day to day stuff has slipped past due so that I can focus on future oriented tasks and initiatives. I’ve been haphazardly pecking away at the old by cataloging everything in Google Notebook as time allows. But I don’t have anything as organized as the proposed system.
There is also some fascinating stuff on goal setting in this book. It’s all targeted at daily success and contradicts much of what I’ve read and done previously. The author recommends not setting big audacious goals. Instead set goals where you are sure to succeed every day. Do not plan to run 3 miles each morning. Instead plan to go outside each morning with your running clothes on. It is much more likely that the later goal will achieve success and motivate you to actually go out and run- even if not 3 miles. And truly any miles are better than zero miles. The way this is organized is all linked the reptilian vs. rational brain. I’m not sure that I agree fully with this theory but did see a lot of myself and my procrastination in his examples.