What trap? The trap I fall into almost every day is one that I suspect many of us find ourselves in. My trap is that my day rushes by faster than I can keep up with it. That I feel like I’m always running just to catch up. That just when I get focused on a key priority, some interruption arises – and before I can finish dealing with that situation – another one comes up as well -- such as being asked to write this article at 10am today!
Interruptions within interruptions drive me crazy. At the end of the day, my desk is a mess. I usually have to go looking for my to-do list -- you know, the one I hurriedly made this morning to supplement my regular TO DO list for the week now buried under my papers.
Stuff arrives so fast on my desktop now days! Emails. New Requests. Sales inquiries. Reports. Un-expected stuff. And my first instinct is to feel trapped. Sound familiar?
My life lesson. What I’ve learned in the 40 years since college is that having a great year is not about doing more or even doing less. It’s not about making huge amounts of money in any one year, although that goal has brought a smile to my face several times. And it’s not about doing 100 things right because I’ve tried that solution and failed miserably.
Instead it’s about doing no more than 10 of the RIGHT things – all year long. Among the jumble of stuff, if the 10 right things get done, the year feels GREAT. Just like in golf, a few shots make all the difference between a great round and one that’s just OK. Now, the issue is of course WHAT are the 10 Right Things? And more to the point, how do I keep any focus at all on these 10 Things when I’m lost in the daily trap of too much to do.
Make Haste Slowly. I ran the 440-yard dash in high school, but by the time I turned 30, I preferred the long distance run. More time to look around. Less pain. A 5-mile run got those endorphins coursing through my veins. And a few good runs every week was sufficient to develop my stamina. So I learned to apply that lesson to my work.
Break Out of the Trap! Identifying the Top Ten things to do each year became easy by using the Best Year Yet System. And making some progress each month usually involved doing only a few things each week that I otherwise wouldn’t have done. In brief, I learned that IF I made time for just a few baby steps on my Top Ten things every week, the rest of my year took care of itself.
Do I still feel overwhelmed? YES, I do. Is my life completely organized? Heck NO. But I’ve learned to put that chaos into perspective IF I’ve made a few baby steps on my Top Ten most important things to do. I’ve learned that those baby steps often can be done in just 25 MINUTES per week – or 5 MINUTES a day. When you learn to use the Best Year Yet Online System, those 5 minutes a day are a magical way of Breaking Out of the Trap!
About the Author
Tim Ditzler is a devotee of effective meetings and having people’s dreams come true. Having sat through umpteen thousands of meetings – at his own businesses and while serving on charity boards, trade association boards, even club meetings – he became a devotee of effective meetings. He realized that the goal is to get in & get out quickly and be clear about who agreed to do what by when. No wasted time or effort.
So Tim designed Producing Results Online® (PRO), a web tool for tracking team and personal results – annually and monthly, even quarterly and weekly for really motivated users. Now available in 4 languages, it is a cutting edge web tool that supports the Best Year Yet System for Producing Results designed by Jinny Ditzler.
His love of designing creative uses of the computer began at age 13 when he designed a computer game that calculated bombing targets for guided missiles. That led to starting his own computer business in 1979 to provide merge/purge, high volume laser printing and targeted database marketing.
He has sailed across the Atlantic in a 22-foot Westerly with a college friend, taking 50 days to get from Boston to Gibraltar. Since then, he and his wife Jinny have run five marathons side by side, led Lew Epstein Men’s and Women’s Clubs, and taken care of their family.