This is a zen method called Big Rocks First. I read about it and would like to share it with you.
Productivity isn’t about doing a lot of stuff. It’s about getting the important stuff done. If you’re running around doing all the little stuff, you’re very busy, but what have you really accomplished? This little list is here to help you take care of the important stuff first. Check it out.
1. Make a list – At the beginning of the week – Sunday evening or Monday morning – write out the Big Rocs that you want to accomplish this week. These are important things. Be sure to include not only work stuff, but some of the tasks that will further along your life’s goals and dreams.
2. Keep it short – In the beginning, just have 4-6 items, you don’t need to try to do 10 Big Rocks, especially not at first. Later, you may get better at judging how many Big Rocks you can handle in a week, but now, start small.
3. Place the Rocks – Look at your schedule. Write out pre-existing appointments. Now take your Big Rocks, and put them in the schedule. Try to put them in a spot where you know you’ll get them done. Not a spot that’s traditionally too busy to concentrate, and not in a little half-hour window between meetings. Give yourself time to do it.
4. Leave a space for the incoming pebbles – Don’t fill in the rest of the schedule if possible. Every morning, look at your schedule and commit yourself to doing the Big Rock(s) for that day. A tight schedule tends to bump into itself, pushing things back when other things inevitably take too long.
5. Do it early – If you can, place your Big Rocks first thing in the morning. Don’t schedule them for later in the day if possible, because by that time, a few fires have come up, and the Big Rock will get pushed back as always. Do it first, and then you’ve got the rest of the day for the busy-work.
6. Be Proud – When your week’s done, look back on it – and if you were able to accomplish any of the Big Rocks, be proud of yourself and happy. It feels good.