Most books on time management teach us to focus only on activities that are important or urgent. This is the so-called “ABC priority approach” where you focus on the ‘A’ priorities first, then the ‘B’s, and finally the ‘C’s.
The ‘C’ list often includes little things, such as making a file folder to hold new client paperwork, or calling to book a follow-up dental appointment. You know – the activities that can wait until later.
The problem is, “later” never comes. And all your little tasks begin to pile up. Fast.
It’s very difficult to focus on the important things you need to accomplish each day when there are so many small tasks nagging at you. You’re always worried that something will fall through the cracks.
And, in fact, something usually does.
Here is how to Avoid Common Time Management Mistake:
David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, suggests that if a task will take two minutes or less to complete, you should do it right away.
Otherwise, these little “to do” activities will quickly grow out of control. This is contrary to the thinking of most time management experts. But it works.
It keeps your plate clean so you can remain focused on the big things in your day – like listing presentations, updating your direct mail referral marketing database, keeping in touch with past clients, and more.
But how do you handle a task that will take longer than two minutes to complete?
You call it a “project” and put it on your calendar. For example: “Customize my Preferred Client Update newsletter — 2:00-2:15.” Once you have scheduled a time for a task, it gets done.
Takeaway point: Don’t ignore the little things. Get them done so they don’t build up. This will help make you more productive and feel a lot less stressed.