As a mum, I think most of my days are part washing, part feeding and mostly picking things up all day. Now that I think of it, if I just changed my technique of picking things up off the floor from a form that can only be described as a ‘locked knee scissor’ to a deep squat, I would probably have buns of steel by now. Note to self.
My children are like cyclones. They come in, mess everything up and quickly leave to go on and destroy another room. Just yesterday I found a punnet of blueberries in the shower and a box of cu-tips sprinkled all over my bed. *Sigh*
As I pick up the 197th cutip (seriously, I would have left them there if I didn’t need the bed), I started to feel overwhelm and dread of what lays ahead of me. Until I remembered a really valuable piece of parenting advice, that I think also applies to business.
“Try to leave each room just a little better each time you leave it”.
Each time you enter a room, start a task, open an email, look at a document, ask yourself, what simple thing could I do now that would make this a little better?
Nothing major or profound. Just a little 1%. Each time you touch it or start it, look for the 1%.
There are three reasons why this works so well for me.
It breaks the job down to small, manageable tasks. It’s so much easier to commit to a few minutes of fixing or cleaning just one thing up than dedicating hours to get it all done at once.
It significantly reduces that feeling of overwhelm. You can just chip away at it and if you don’t get a couple done, its really not a big deal.
I find the task is done to a better standard. If you have just one thing to do and you know it will only take a few minutes, I find I’m more likely to spend another couple of minutes doing a great job. Which is so satisfying.
I have come to the acceptance that my job list will never be done. Even on my death bed, I can guarantee I will have things to tick off so try not to strive for perfection, just focus on your progress.