I have a confession to make. I am a free spirit and I get very little done when left to my own devices. I have to have structure. I have to have a map. Or, I spin my wheels, do a few donuts, crash, and get nothing productive done. (I have never mastered the art of the donut…granted Oklahoma doesn’t get that much ice so I haven’t had too much time to practice….anyway.) I have to have structure. I have to know what is expected, even if I am the one outlining the expectations.
I got a wonderful reminder of this fact this evening. Marixa and I sat down together and took a look at my goals and my to do list. I have some pretty big long term goals and I needed to take a look at them and start planning my short term goals. For weeks I have been coming into my office to work (after the family goes to bed) and I haven’t been getting much done. Everything had gotten jumbled and I couldn’t see the next step. It was frustrating. I knew what I wanted in the long term, but seeing the short term was not coming easy. Marixa helped me clear all of that up in about 45 minutes of brainstorming. (Thanks my love. I needed that.)
By giving me a clear picture of the path ahead (or at least the next few steps) I see the purpose in what I am doing. If I can see that what I am doing today makes a difference in where I want to be in a year, that gets me exited. The progress may be slow and steady, but progress is progress.
I am also finding another benefit of creating structure: it frees me up to be creative without a side helping of guilt. Every time I sit down in the office I feel like I should be doing something else. However, when I have the structure in place, I know what I have to get done. I have allotted time slots for the work. I get to work and create and enjoy the process. I give myself permission during those times to work with a singular focus. There are other things that have to be done (some that would seem more pressing), but not right now. Not while I am working within the time I have allotted, because I see the path in front of me and I am going to walk it without distraction. Johann Von Goethe said it more eloquently : Things which matter most should never be at the mercy of things which matter least. Things that don’t matter want to get in the way of things that do matter. We can’t have that.
What is your process for getting things done? What road blocks have you hit? What have you set in place to help you achieve your goals?