I learnt quite early that one way to keep myself going when I have a huge task list is to do the easiest things first. I found out that doing the difficult things first usually left me below 50% performance by the time I hit half time. That often leads to panic. I found that doing a nominal count, difficult tasks do not allow one to ‘count success’ early on the task. And really the goal of a task list is to check-off every item on it somehow!
Recently, I stumbled on a book Our Iceberg is Melting by John Kotter & Holger Rathgeber. While the book is centered on Change Management with a lovely story-line, one of the lessons is that one needs to celebrate short-term “wins”! If we set out to build a house, completing the foundation calls for celebration! Sometimes, one needs to pre-install the potential “wins” at the planning stage. For example if the goal is to build a storey building, we could break it down into laying a foundation, building the walls of the ground floor, doing the decking, the walls of the first floor, etc. This will provide encouraging milestones along the way.
On the contrary, if we choose to wait until a huge task is completed, we may miss the encouragement of celebrating short-term “wins” along the way!
With January down, we need to count some success and celebrate some ‘wins’.