Deciding what to do first

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Yesterday, I said that when you feel overwhelmed with too much to do you should make a big list of everything and then choose (no more than) three things.

But how do you choose?

Do you select something that’s urgent? Important? Easy? Challenging? Enjoyable? Do you choose something at random just to get moving?

There’s no right or wrong answer.

One thing you could do is go through the list and for each item, ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen if I DON’T accomplish this today?” No doubt you’ll realize that most of the things on your list can wait but you still may be no closer to choosing.

One question that’s helped me choose is the one posed by Gary Keller in his book, The One Thing:

“What is ONE THING you could do such that by doing it, everything else would be easier or unnecessary?”

A simpler version: “If I could ONLY do ONE thing today, what would I do?”

When we limit ourselves to just one thing we make it easier to choose because we tacitly give ourselves permission to put everything else aside. It forces us to identify our priority.

Get your “one thing” done and even if you don’t do anything else today, you will have a good day. Get your One Thing done FIRST and you’ll have the rest of the day to choose what to do next.

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