647-224-5983 mary@marymstrachan.com

If you don’t know this about me, I can really get focused and absorbed in what I’m doing. When I get in that zone, time has no meaning and I can “forget” about other tasks I might need to do (like have lunch and other such life necessities.)

I’ve also been known to use the eleventh hour strategy (that’s where you leave things to the last minute) when I’d get an adrenalin rush to then get-it-done. But, over the years I’ve realized that this approach is the easiest way to burn out. So, I’ve had to take some measures to change that!

The other thing I’ve noticed? It can sometimes be tricky for me to shift out of one task and into another.

So what do I do to help with all these “attention challenges?”

Well, I found a neat tip that seems to help with all three…

It’s from a book called 9 Things Successful People Do Differently by Heidi Grant Halvorson (which I bought at an airport, BTW.)

The author outlines a whole process, but I’ve managed to simplify her strategy into a basic “if/then” statement.

It takes a bit of practice but here are some examples of how I use it:

If it’s 5 o’clock and I haven’t started making supper, then I need to get into the kitchen and start! (daily task)

If it’s Sunday at 3 o’clock and I haven’t written my newsletter yet, then it’s the next thing I do (just started doing this one.) (weekly task)

If it’s the 27th of the month and I haven’t printed and tallied up my receipts, then that’s what I need to do. (monthly task)

If it’s May 1st and we haven’t washed and put our winter gear away yet, then this becomes our top priority. (yearly task)

I love it, because, as you can see, it works for daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly tasks.

But more importantly, it shifts the deadline from when you need to FINISH something to when you need to START it.

And, it feels more like a cue than an actual deadline, so it naturally takes the “rush” out of it.

Of course, you still need to follow through on the task, but for whatever reason, with this approach, I do!

What do you think? Want to give it a try?

Here’s the basic structure:

If it’s __________________ and I haven’t __________________________________ then ___________________________________.

You can play with it a little bit. Let me know if you come up with some statements for yourself. I’m curious to know if it works as well for you as it does for me.

Having Trouble Getting-It-Done?

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