Perfect Execution … a day in the life

I mentioned that I’m currently using the phrase, “Perfect Execution,” to motivate and remind myself what I need to do.

It doesn’t mean that everything WILL be perfect or that I will fall apart if they aren’t perfect.  It is an attempt to encompass two ideas:

1) If I focus throughout the day and Get Back on Track after I get distracted, I will make progress on my to do list.

2) If I have a good to do list to focus on for any given day, I will make progress on my major goals.

Make a list

Regardless of how you make a list, you should make a list most every day.  In my case, I make two lists — one work related and one that is for breaks / lunch / before work / after work.

Today’s work list looked a lot like this:

a) read through and document at least five support cases in my new discipline.

b) check in with the contacts on all of my open calls.

c) spend an hour going through the introduction to my new discipline.

d) go through all of my email and either respond and file, file and add to do list, or read and file it.  Basically, clear out the inbox and get things onto the to do list (yes this is the remnents of my foray into GTD).

Non work list:

1) Breaks — pushups and pullups

2) Lunch — work on my novel

3) After work —

    Spend time with Logan if he wants to.

   Read Bible and pick a random facebook friend to pray for (Ms Horst as it turns out).

   Tweet

   Write an article here

   Take the trash cans out

   Take care of the cat litter

   Trim one tree in the yard

    Work on some gaming stuff that needs to be done by Monday

Sanity Check Your List

The sanity part of the check list is not whether or not you can finish the list by the end of the day. 

It is a very simple question:

  Does this list support my long term goals

So let’s review:

   My work list will help me learn my skillset (I’ve been in this job for about a month and it generally takes six months to come up to full speed) by looking at actual cases and combining that with general knowledge.

   My home list helps me stay connected to people (in this case Logan who I haven’t seen much of for a couple of days), connected to God through my quiet time, write, work on platform and online presence, and keep the house from falling apart.  Oh and the exercise part to get in “summer shape” a bit (although I need to put something in about not eating my weight in unhealthy foods).

Perfect Execution

Now, I would be lying to you if I said that I did those things straight through without interruption.  It’s just simply not possible (at least for me).  Here are a few things that got in the way today:

Kradan needed some extra help with dinner so I grilled and did dishes.

My favorite political websites mugged me and made me read ten or twelve articles.

I decided that I needed to call my Dad and chat about a few things (not bad, but not on the list).

Half an episode of NCIS interrupted as well.

Another of my games that I didn’t need to visit today got visited anyways.

However, the point of Perfect Execution is to not give up on your day or your goals for the day just because you deviate.  The point is to go back to the list and get on with the next thing as quickly as possible.

Today I’ve been able to do that.  Could I have done more?  Yes and I *may* do a bit more when I get done with this article, but even if I haven’t, I know that I’ve given it the best I could EVERYTIME I THOUGHT ABOUT IT.

At the end of the day, I can be happy with what I’ve done.

When I take checkpoint days (about once every two weeks) and look at where I am compared to my goals, I will hopefully see that the yard is looking better (okay not RIGHT now), that I’m more connected in life, that I’m getting it at work, and that I’m getting closer to my publishing goals.

Whatever your method, your daily activities should support your long term and lifetime goals and at the end of the day, week, month, etc, they should leave you celebrating, not sighing.

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About kentostby
Kent Ostby is a fiction and efficiency writer who is willing to dabble in just about any other phase of writing as well.

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