Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What Are You Going to Do First?

My Grandpa said to me once, when I was a child, "Don't try to decide what you're going to do. Just decide what you're going to do first."

I've mostly applied this on a large time-scale - not asking, for instance, what I'm going to do with my life, but what will I do first? But this post on lazy productivity reminded me that the concept can also be applied on a small scale - what will I do first today, in this hour, in this moment?

I now have two to-do lists. One is titled "All the Things I Could Do," and has long lists of projects, goals, and steps toward those goals, as well as the myriad small things that I need to get to eventually. The other is "Things To Do First," which is limited to 3-5 items - the things that are most important right now from my "Everything I Could Do" list.

It's amazing how picking a small number of the most important things from a long, overwhelming list can suddenly propel you from stagnation to action.