Little by little

I started reading an article about procrastination. The clever writing style and content were sucking me in when my inner voice interrupted: Is this what you should be doing NOW? Don’t you have a meeting to get ready for? You can read this later. Stop procrastinating!

Sound familiar? How often do you put off doing something important to do other things, urgent and not urgent? Focusing on what’s most important takes effort. It’s a habit I continually work on because all the other stuff keeps grabbing my attention. Hey… there’s a squirrel.

If I don’t make a list of what’s most important to get done and prioritize # 1, 2, 3 (up to 10), time flies and my day ends in frustration with myself. With my list prioritized, I have a choice throughout the day. When I get interrupted, I can decide if my priority task is more important than the interruption. If it is, I choose to stay focused. If it isn’t, I deal with the new thing and then get back to my list. The list eliminates wasting time thinking about what I should or could do next.

Of course, there are times I have to scrap my DO list to tackle hot stuff, and I’m sure you do, too. But if putting off what’s important happens day after day, there’s a problem. It’s time to step back and assess what’s going on. And be proactive about taking a step forward on what’s important to long-term success.

Making a habit of writing my DO list and prioritizing it has been a lifesaver.

Often what we do and how we do it is driven by our habits. Good and bad. Habits significantly impact our life. Here’s a brief interview I found intriguing. James Clear, author of “Atomic Habits / Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results” learned from personal experience what habits can do for healing, learning, growing, excelling. He is a success today because of many small habits repeated over time, starting when he had to work on getting well after a baseball bat flew into his face breaking both eye sockets and his nose and causing brain trauma.

You’ll get a sense for Clear’s perspective in this six-minute “CBS This Morning” interview from last October. I hope you’ll get something from it, as I have

Keep in mind: Little by little, a little becomes a lot. This applies to every aspect of life and leadership.

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