Manage your WIP, manage your sanity

  1. Add a new ‘incoming but now column’. Now I know that an additional column might be a recipe for more stuff but for me the naming ‘but not now’ gives me permission to add but not act. Like a psychological freezer for things to thaw out and cook later.
  2. Say No Go (I can’t resist a De La Soul reference). I’d love to live in a Derek Sivers world of ‘Hell yes or no’ but in my line of work ‘no’ is often hard. There is a drive to be helpful and useful to both, peers and clients alike, business depends on it. But referring to my fluctuating peaks and troughs, it can be more damaging to keep saying yes rather than no. So learning to politely (but assertively) say no takes practice. It takes even more practice to not worry about saying no after it’s been said. When that practice becomes effective, the incoming and of course, to-do list automatically shrinks which enables me to feel less overwhelmed and focus on the WIP.
  3. Lastly is the WIP. This is the point of success. What is the big thing, the medium thing, a small thing that I need to do today? This doesn’t include the stuff like emails, admin, Slack, or reactive work — that’s just the busy stuff we need to reduce(another post for another time). Working on these three things is where I find my sense of control. I can cope with this. I focus on the big thing first, then the medium, then the small, then the stuff (because of course, stuff has to be done).

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A person who likes to do great things with great people so that together, we can make a bit of a difference to the world

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Matt Barnaby

Matt Barnaby

A person who likes to do great things with great people so that together, we can make a bit of a difference to the world

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