How can you make enough time for your to-do list?There's an old saying: When you're hunting elephants, don't get distracted chasing rabbits. Apply strategic thinking to your to-do list: Separate elephants (tasks that require deeper thinking and also build toward long-term goals) from rabbits (tasks may be urgent or important but do not require much thought). Then, focus on two elephants per day – just two – for 45 minutes each, during times when you do your best thinking.
SCIENCE SAYS:Higher-order thinking releases dopamine – igniting the brain's reward network and feelings of accomplishment. While checking off mindless tasks (rabbits) can deliver a small dose of dopamine, challenging tasks (elephants) can offer a bigger feeling of reward, helping to motivate continued progress toward long-term goals.
WAYS TO BEGIN:
- Categorize your tasks as elephants or rabbits. Elephants are most critical to your success and require strategic, deeper-level thinking. Rabbits are busy work. They may be urgent, but they don't require higher-level thinking.
- Dedicate the times when you do your best thinking to working on two elephants each day (45 minutes each).
- Create an action plan, including breaking down really big elephants into actionable steps.
- Journal about how daily accomplishments make you feel, or sharing with a friend.