What Can I Do Right Now?

Posted on Nov 4, 2012

We all have a never ending list of things to do and new projects to tackle and it can become a little overwhelming at times.

The hardest part of any task is just getting started, knowing where to start and working out when to schedule it.

Here’s an approach I find that works for me whenever the following situations occur:

– Things are overwhelming and you’re getting nowhere fast
– You’re killing time in between appointments (usually less than an hour and it may also be away from your desk)
– You’re stuck in one section of a project or don’t know where to start
– You’re waiting on someone to call you back or for some further information before you can complete a task

Just ask yourself one simple question “What can I do right now?” So how does this help?

It allows you to choose something from your list that you can do right now (wherever you are and whatever amount of time you have). It may only be sending an email off to someone, updating some notes or making a call, but it will help move you forward and complete some more items on your list.

It allows you to make good use of “waiting time” – despite the fact that you may be away from your desk. After all technology now gives us the ability to do a lot of things remotely.
It prevents you getting stuck when you’re waiting on something or someone – which can steal your momentum and result in a lot of unproductive time waiting.

It gets you to change focus when you get stuck so that you can come back to your work with a fresh perspective and be in a clearer mind to solve what you’ve been stuck on.

It allows you to choose to work on one part of a project rather than feeling you have to do it all at once – breaking it down into smaller pieces is a good strategy to help you get started and it will seem less daunting when you come back to it!

It stops you feeling guilty about not doing anything because you are doing something (however minor) and this momentum will help carry you through the bigger projects and the rest of your list.

A perfectly planned day often changes and we need to change with it to still be productive. So, don’t beat yourself up about how the day has turned out and how little you’ve done. Instead just ask yourself “What can I do right now? and start moving forward again.