In the beginning of March I took a training at work called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The training was made to go with the book of the same name written by Stephen R. Covey. The first three habits focus on more independent victories. The next three focus on public victories and being effective with others. It was the 7th habit was what hit me hard. It’s called Sharpen the Saw and it circled around all the other habits.
When we got to the last habit, we watched a short video. It was about a guy who was up late the night before and didn’t really want to go about his morning routine but did it anyway. By doing his routine, it cleared his mind and put him on the right path for that day. He set himself up to be successful.
This flipped on a lightbulb for me. ?
Let me back up. Last September we starting find some errors with our system at work. Every time I thought I was done fixing them, more would be found. We were also in the middle of changing our yearly processes and now instead of having January through June to enter things, we had only December. Oh and no overtime was approved. It was stressful and I felt like my to-do list was never ending. The word “drowning” became one of my most used words and that itself is terribly depressing.
I absolutely love my job but I started to dread going to work because no matter what, I just felt like I was failing every day. Eventually that January 1st deadline got moved out to the end of February and we did get approved overtime that month which helped some. But more than a month later I am still playing catch-up with so many things that were put on the back burner for months.
Set Yourself Up For Success
The biggest thing I took away from my training was to set myself up for success. The day after the training was just as crazy as any other day but I went into work and decided that I would feel successful if I only get 3 certain tasks done. There was a good chance they would take all day to do around the meetings I had but they were the crucial tasks for that day. And you know what? I completed 2 of the 3 before my 10am meeting started!
I felt invincible. And I was able to complete a few more tasks before the end of the day and left work feeling accomplished. The next day, I did the same thing and Landon even commented on my mood after only two days. It was empowering.
What I Do To Set Myself Up For Success
- I still make a long to-do list so I don’t forget anything.
- I pick the top 3-4 tasks from the list and enter them in my planner.
- Then I just focus on only those tasks for the day. It keeps me focused and less overwhelmed.
I’ve even started taking this approach home. After work I ask myself what absolutely needs to get done that evening and just stick to that. Usually it’s something like make sure we have dinner, check to see what bills are due on the bill payment tracker, and get to bed by a certain time. Some nights I might schedule in self-care like work out, take a bath, or read something for fun. ??♀️ ? ?
My work hasn’t changed, my to-do lists haven’t gotten shorter, but my mindset has changed for the better. My never-ending list doesn’t weigh me down so much. I also find it more exciting to challenge myself on how many tasks I can complete above what I need to feel successful.
Try it yourself and let me know how it goes!