Hey it’s Dr Ro here, hope you are well.
I want to just take a little bit time to share something with you, which I think you’ll find useful, I’m recording this as we come to the end of March and what I found over the years working with so many people but also in my own life is that during these first three months as we embark on the year with ideas, projects, aspirations, goals that we set we tend to start to pick up stuff.
I.e. things on our to-do list, actions that have to be done, new activities that we brought or included into existing projects or even new projects.
I find that this time of the year seems to be like a tip in the balance in terms of time you’ve got available and the number of things you’ve got to do.
This is absolutely weird or maybe not but it’s a cyclical thing I’ve noticed in in decades now, and yes, I do speak in the world of property investing, but also if you think back 30, 35 years I’ve done a lot of work over that time in the personal development in front of so many people.
A lot of the questions that come up about this time of year are, I’m getting a bit confused. They’ve either lost track, lost focus, lost momentum or picked up a lot of stuff going on and now it’s like I’m not sure if I can achieve the goals I set. Why? Because I’m doing this and doing this and doing that. If that’s the case for you I have five things I think are going to work.
Step number one download everything. I mean a life download, a project download, a to-do list, downloading everything, absolutely everything in your world, try and capture it on paper. I suspect right now there is a lot of stuff going on, and the best thing to do is unload what’s in your head down onto paper because you can really only consciously look at one thing at a time. Yeah, I know people say that women can multitask and that’s correct.
However, at the moment that you’re actually doing the task you can only see that task, unconsciously you can process things in the background but that’s where it gets challenging because as you do that, something else comes left-field that way. You’ll have a list of things in your head that you’re fully aware of that you said yes to or aware of that in your sphere of influence that you should have done or need to do and there are a whole bunch of things floating around and that’s what causes a lot of stress and anxiety of how am I going to do all that?
And actually half the time they don’t actually get the scale of it, so we have to first take it and we download it over or dump it. People say what specifically? Everything, any thought you’ve got about something that you have to do that’s potentially occupying your conscious space. You can go to another extreme which is what I used to teach: gather everything in your bedroom, your kitchen, bathroom, your office, stick it together in one place.
That’s paperwork, Post-it notes. That’s another extreme. Main thing is to capture thoughts down on paper. This is a really powerful technique, then I want you to group them.
Think about projects, categories, boxes of projects, how you phrase it, you will have everything you’ve written down will fall into areas and whether you want to categorise into health, personal life or family, domestic work. Work as in projects business. That’s important, but that process is not as straightforward as it seems you need to look to go right where it sits?
Literally place everything into some kind of titled projects. Give it a name, but it needs to be placed into that grouping, and this is just a chance to clear the decks to breathe and then when you’re ready, you pick up that box, category that grouping and you look at it and say what needs to be done?
My suggestion is for now because there could be somethings that might cause you panic is to go and look at the urgent and important. You say what’s urgent and important in this group or in this project or in this box metaphor and you pull those things out. For the sake of argument I’ve got two projects on the go in business so project A and project B and then I’ve got all personal stuff relating to my family and then I’ve got some financial things over there categorised and health over there. You can dip into each of these and look into that list and you say what’s urgent and important?
The ones that are urgent and important are always the ones that you tend to be firefighting and creating the greatest level of stress, but also the level of focus and you now pull those out, and now they come into your periphery, leaving everything else in the boxes. I know you think about them, but not right now and having pulled them out you do the 3 D’s.
The three D’s are this D for defer, you might think it’s urgent and important, but can it be deflected or deferred? Can it be moved back or assigned to a date? The second D is do I even need to do it? Can I dump it? Is it really that important and urgent have you created that yourself? Has someone put it on you or is it a perceived importance and urgency? Is there anything in that grouping that you can dump? We’re either deferring or dumping or delegating to somebody else.
This is interesting because there is a fourth D which by default, you get to, which is to do it, so if you really want to do it delegate it. You need to get to a situation where, for the sake of argument, you’ve got this list and then that list, you basically either dumped it, deferred it, you’ve given it to somebody to delegate and whatever is left is where you do it.
Once you’ve done the three D’s you’re left with the last D, which is basically that’s what I have to do now perfect and it’s a really good thinning process and it works. I would sometimes just do it on an ongoing basis. I’ve got a white board up there just written some stuff up last week and I looked at it and said some of that I can pass on some, knock it back.
This process if done on a consistent and regular basis actually is like relieving the pressure of a pressure cooker.
It never actually builds up, you never get to the explosive level and of course there are loads of stuff in those boxes we talked about, but that’s a whole discussion for a different day.
Remember, download, download.