I have been piling paper on my desk over the last few months. It is mostly filing but some of it needs me to act on it. In June and July, I was really busy at work and just did not have headspace to deal with anything that didn’t need immediate attention. That excuse ran out nearly 2 months ago but I am still putting paper on my desk and NOT filing or phoning or whatever else I need to do. I am now using a new excuse, the famous ‘ I will get to it later’, Well, guess what, ‘later’ just never seems to turn up.
A few days ago, I was going through my Inbox as usual in the evening. I subscribe to quite a few blogs and websites and quite often click through to see interesting content and videos. I had spent about 20 minutes skimming through blog articles and 5 minute videos when I suddenly had an ‘aha’ moment. I realised that I hadn’t read anything in detail or taken in much information – I was just wasting time! And a question from a motivation video I watched recently came back to me – ‘Is this activity helping me to move forward with my goals?’. And I answered myself… ‘Umm, no, it’s not at all!’.
So I immediately shut down Outlook and decided to spend 10 minutes or so working through the paper on my desk. Within a short period of time, I had filed several items and shredded or put in the recycling bin another few. I have decided to just keep doing this for 10 minutes each day until the piles are gone. The important thing for me is to NOT open Outlook or I get diverted. So looking at my emails is going to be the reward for tackling the paper pile! Do you have any ‘wasting time’ activities that you could cut down on or use as a reward for tackling what really needs to be done?
I have also started using the few minutes while my PC boots up to shred a few pieces of paper from my husband’s shredding pile that never seems to go down. You can find little bits of time everywhere once you start looking – while the kettle boils, ad breaks on TV, while the casserole is cooking and so it goes on.
In other words, we all have ‘time’, even if it’s only 10 minutes a day. Using regular little bits of time can make a big difference over weeks and months. How do you eat an elephant? One bit at a time!