My Post-it Note System

  I really love the below email from Rick Warren that arrived in my inbox over the weekend.

Honestly, I am challenged with this exact thing on a daily basis.

Last week I implemented a new system for my self-management at work called the “My Post-it Note System”. Someone else probably invented it and I’ve probably just heard it from some training seminar or training CD and copied it. If I didn’t then I’m copy-writing it! The fact is it has now worked 3 working days in a row.

Each day I have a new post-it note which contains approx. 4-5 key goals to achieve for the day. These are usually large tasks which involve prospect/list/negotiate/sell. Our lives are filled with priorities and often we get so overwhelmed that we don’t know where to start. Of course, reality is that we usually end up doing double of triple the amount of things on the list, but the sense of achievement is way beyond the feeling you get when you get through 4 tasks on your 25 point “To-Do-List”. You are forced to keep the main thing the main thing and analyse what is really important for you to be doing. It comes alongside the whole 80/20 rule.

Maybe after reading Rick’s email below you’ll grab yourself a post-it note and start refining your To-Do-List”.

Choosing a simpler life – by Rick Warren –
Saturday, July 24, 2010

 . . . a time to embrace and a time to refrain. Ecclesiastes 3:5 (NIV)

“You are the only one who can assume responsibility for your time and clarify what’s really important to you. “

You’d think that living in Southern California means I’m surrounded by people who live a laid-back lifestyle. The truth is just the opposite: Most of the people I know are trying to cram more and more into each day.

For instance, a couple of years ago, I was with a group of friends driving down the interstate. At one point, I looked around and realized most of us were engaged in some activity other than talking to each other. Two people were on their cell phones; another was working on his BlackBerry; and a fourth was focused on his laptop computer.

As a joke, I declared I felt left out. I called the driver, who was sitting right next to me, and we chatted together on our cell phones for a few minutes! The point of our traveling together in the van was so we could grab time to talk face-to-face! Yet we felt pressed to get it all done.

That’s when I realized the truth – we couldn’t get it all done, and God never intended for us to make completing a to-do list the purpose of our lives.

The fact is, there are many things we think we must do that really are not worth doing. My point is this: You won’t simplify your life by getting an electronic organizer. You won’t even find it by convincing your neighbor, who makes Martha Stewart look like a sloth, to give you tips about coordinating your activities while still wearing a perfect dress and pearls like Beaver Cleaver’s mom.

Simplifying is really about choices – prioritizing what is important – and then sticking to those choices no matter how tempting it is to add more to your to-do list. In fact, take those tempting activities and put them on a list of things not to do.

You are the only one who can assume responsibility for your time and clarify what’s really important to you.

Now maybe you’re thinking, “But I have to take care of the kids,” or “I have to get this report done by Friday.” I’m not naïve about the pressures many people feel today, but it may be that those things – your children, your work – are the priorities you keep on your to-do list, and you move other things to the not-to-do list.


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