As soon as you wake up, you’re thinking about everything you’ve got to do.
But even when you put your to-do list together, you get blindsided by firey hot crises.
Phone calls come in, old tasks resurface, and you feel like you’re being pulled in a million directions at once.
At the end of the day, you feel like you did a TON of work, but you can’t really point to any “checked” boxes.
This is called “Fire of the Day” management style and it’s a great way to ensure burnout, anxiety, and unhappiness.
If you’re struggling to keep up with tasks, remember that reacting is not going to help.
Its how you choose to respond (not just react) that will keep you focused.
Reacting to every phone call and every email will ensure that you stay a slave to urgency—but you’re smarter than that.
Tasks can be important and urgent, that’s called a crisis.
But tasks can also be urgent and not important, in which case you’d be better off delegating them to someone else on your team or not doing them at all.
Conflatig urgency and importance is one of the most common mistakes I see when diagnosing “Fire of the Day” management style.
Recognize the difference and you’ll be able to focus on what’s important without being a slave to every burning hot urgency that comes flying at you.
If you want a useful tool for helping you with this, check out the Eisenhower Decisions matrix. I share this tool with everyone I work with and point to it all the time.
2 Minute Action:
Create a quick to-do list (spend 1 minute on this).
Spend the next minute assigning a number to each task.
Once you have your numbers you’ve got a prioritized list of things to do.
Go get ‘em.