The Tasmanian Devil, Big Ticket Items, and GSD Day

Wave Your Theme Flag for Focus in 2017

Wave Your Theme Flag

Wave Your Theme Flag

In my leadership programs, it is common to hear participants of all job levels tell me they have no time to network, deepen relationships or strategically expand their sphere of influence, let alone take lunch with a colleague.  I get it, you are working mad hours and with less resources, and multi-tasking your buns off to get everything done in this mad, mad world.

The rub becomes, how to make the time for you to enrich or even advance your career, and still get things done?

I am excited to share a new breakthrough that may impact how you work in 2017, and will allow you to take the critical time away from your desk to accomplish Big Picture Items. These may be your career goals or even personal goals that feed the career choices you wish to make, but things you also feel like you can’t get a minute to execute upon, let alone think about them.

As someone who is distracted by squirrel-type thoughts and actions, I find that while I do get a lot done in a day, historically it has not been through a systemized approach.

In other words, I am a blur of activity, a Tasmanian Devil of tasks and actions, coming and going, whirling all around.  When the dust settles, it is not always clear what I accomplished that contributes to Big Picture Goals and short term milestones to achieve those big-ticket items.  I will always make my deadlines, but the process getting there can be painful.

That is why my strength as an “activator” makes so much sense, and is a blessing in an entrepreneurial or start-up phase of a project, program, or new business endeavor, but is a liability to execution and steady or even rapid growth, in all honesty.

How can life be made easier and still get stuff done with purpose, clarity, and results?

The hundreds of book suggestions, thought leader tips, and friendly pieces of advice to “get a routine” ain’t gonna happen.  A regimented schedule is simply not me no matter how hard I have tried over the years.  It is like forcing me to be tall when I am 5’0”.  Yes, I can do yoga and get massages to lengthen my body an inch or so, and take calcium supplements, but I will never be tall per se.

So how in the heck do I accomplish critical tasks with focus if I am working like a Tasmanian Devil- always in a whirl?

Great news – there is hope and I want to share it with you in case you are of a kindred spirit, or God bless you, may have to put up with a similar soul as me.

My good friend and marketing coach Meredith Liepelt spurred me to start rethinking how I work so I can better achieve what she has coined as a “Get Shit Done Day”, or GSD Day for a more PG version.  “Yes!” I replied.  “That is what I need is a GSD Day.” Excitement faded to “But, how do I create that without “SQUIRREL!” moments overriding my ability to GSD?”

Finally, after noodling this for the better part of 2016 and trying various routines, my big epiphany last week was to start working in daily themes to see how this would benefit me in realizing my Big Picture Goals.

When I shared this approach with some friends at lunch yesterday, they thought I had themes like Maraca Monday, Tater Tot Tuesday, and so forth. After a good chuckle, the need for clarifying what I meant by “themes” – and conceding I may have to work in those quirky days for some added flair, here are the themes I landed on to drive my business, my career, and my personal life:

  • Money and Marketing Monday
  • Technology Tuesday
  • Writing Wednesday
  • Thankful Thursday
  • Financial and Future-focused Friday

I will disclose details on each theme day in my January blog posts, so stay tuned.

How’s it going?

It’s only been 10 days, but hey, you gotta start somewhere, and here’s what I am happy to report that I have found quite surprising:

Benefits:

  1. I have more focus and an increase in energy and interest for the tasks of the day.
  2. Although there are interruptions, I am more likely to return to my theme tasks for the day, than to put them aside all together.
  3. My creativity has finally amped up, after years of not feeling that creative.
  4. I work with more clarity.
  5. By correlating my milestones and tasks with my big picture goals, I feel accomplished!
  6. Work is getting knocked off my to-do list faster than ever before.
  7. I feel less overwhelmed and more on top of my responsibilities.
  8. I give myself more “me” time in the evening because I don’t have the guilt of the to-do list hanging over me, which usually causes me to log back in and start working late into the evening.
  9. I look forward to the fun theme the next day, which keeps my interest piqued and my creativity high.
  10. I am less likely to stop my work to tend to phone calls, emails, or other interruptions until I have reached a stopping point I have set to tend to others’ needs with focus and full attention.
  11. This approach allows me to fulfill a mental, physical and even spiritual trifecta I have been lacking.

Drawbacks:

  1. I may have to stop something to tend to an interruption.
  2. My thematic days may shift a bit for urgent situations that arise, or to complete a client task that requires more hours and is under deadline. This does pose a risk that I will abandon the thematic “routine” all together, but remains to be seen. So far, so good.

That’s it.  11:2 is the benefit / drawback ratio.

I would love to hear how some of you Tasmanian Devils manage your “GSD” approach, especially those of you who are more creative types and don’t like to be bound by a regimented “routine.”

How do you organize your day to accomplish tasks and feel fulfilled?

Great news! By writing this blog I have now completed one third of my Writing Wednesday GSD tasks.

Wishing you much success in your Day of GSD today that creates a better tomorrow!

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