Busywork is a seductive parasite, like a tapeworm that leaves you wonderfully skinny but saps your energy and leaves you constantly hungry.
Hungry, you say? Hungry. Hungry for legitimate purpose, for tangible progress, for the unlimited rewards that are within your reach if you could only see beyond the busywork
Every day, I make a list of my action items
I prioritize, identifying rocks, gravel and sand.
I set up blocks of time for important tasks
At every turn, busywork beckons. When I make my coffee in the morning, I notice that the whole stove and kettle need a good scrubbing. Of course, the second it occurs to me, it goes on my ToDo list (long version). But when I sit down to write my todo list for the day, it doesn’t make the cut.
While labeling my ToDo list (R)ocks, (G)ravel, (S)and, I relegate any and all household chores (except feeding animals) to sand. A clean kitchen and well-washed floors do not pay the bills.
When pencilling slots in my daytimer, I add a slot in the bottom “Clean-up.”
Everybody, that last tip is the gold mine, the home run, the light bulb moment. I keep a separate list of the little things that ought to be done:
Tonight’s list includes,
Fold laundry, Tweeze brows, Hang curtains, Dishes, Plan stuff to take to presentation tomorrow, Categorize posts on Feed The Spark.
This, this is the stuff that needs to be done, sure, but in terms of intrinsic importance rate extremely low. So, I keep a seperate sheet of paper and see how many jobs I can cross off at the end of an evening.
The separate part is important. Busywork should not be allowed to come into contact with the important stuff because it is a great chameleon and will try to make itself look more important than it is. Put it on your list and forget about it until your allotted time.
Now, some of you are probably thinking, “Hell no, evenings are the only time I get to relax.” To that I say: a) keep in mind that this is busywork, and as such is neither urgent nor important. By all means, take the night off. b) that said, nothing tops off a productive day like a whole whack of things taken off your mind.
I guarantee that after a few days of this you’ll feel like a dynamo and greet your days with energy and enthusiasm, instead of feeling overworked and harassed.