One Simple Way to Schedule a Productive Work Week

By Sue Ludwig

I picture you sitting at your desk in the morning.  

You have the best intentions regarding The Pile of work that sits to your left. You know the one. The one you’ll get to the day the unit slows down and you have an hour or two away from patient care. Yea, THAT day. The one that last arrived in 2009 when census was down for a week.   And today, well it’s not looking too promising for The Pile either. Since it’s that kind of morning, I’ll get to the point.

The PileLook at The Pile.   Choose ONE task or project from The Pile. One that you could complete in 30 minutes or less. (You’d be surprised how many things fit this category if you have 30 uninterrupted minutes.)  

Make a note somewhere

  • bulletin board
  • computer
  • door
  • wherever.

Your note will say: “Week of July 14 – INE” INE stands for “If Nothing Else”

Take your one task or portion of a project that takes 30 minutes or less and list it on this note under INE.

Because no matter what happens in your week, no matter how many things are already on your long list, IF NOTHING ELSE is complete by Friday, this ONE THING will be. It’s the most important thing on your list. (I’ve done this for years. It really works!)

This can be as simple as:

  • sending that email you keep forgetting about
  • scheduling the long overdue meeting
  • filling in the last few required fields before submitting to the IRB.
  • It doesn’t have to be huge.

You can’t get ‘everything’ finished.

But you can complete 1 thing. IF NOTHING ELSE. And on Friday it will feel SO good to cross it off your INE list.

Repeat once a week for a one month trial and watch The Pile become a mere Stack, then a Folder and then… Space.

You’ll feel relieved and happier while accomplishing so much more.

If nothing else.

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