Our culture is a work oriented culture. We are always trying to “ get stuff done” . This is mostly from necessity. However, it is also because this is how we are comfortable. However, corporate analysts and social scientists tell us our work performance and our relationships would be better if we worked less and had more time off. Nonetheless when we leave work, we come home and want to “ get stuff done” there too.
How can we get done all that we want so that we can truly free up personal and family time ? The answer lies in our process. Here is a rough and simple set of guidelines that should help you improve any process that you do, from shopping for groceries, to generating a report, to buying a horse.
- List and prioritize tasks, plan or project.
- Do not over schedule. Decide what is "enough" to accomplish in a given period of time.
- Assign a value to some amount of personal or family time.
- Take some time to go over everything you know about the situation.
- Get the rest of the information, support and equipment that you need to get the job done.
- Break the task into steps.
- Execute the steps.
This is where most people stop. However, you want to become more efficient. You have to go on.
- Assess how you did. Decide what worked well and what didn’t.
- Adjust the process accordingly. This is called iteration, a term borrowed from modern engineering.
Go through this sequence every time you have a project. It doesn’t take that much extra time and can lead to some satisfying control and efficiency. Don’t shoot for perfection, shoot for getting better each time. Iterate your way to a smooth life.
One of my daughter’s best friends has a simple little motto:
“Set goal, make goal, repeat."
She is now a Harvard trained PhD in Astrophysics. I’d say it worked.