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Stop Drowning: One Scheduling Tip for a Productive Workweek

You are 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. And since it’s that kind of morning, I’ll get to the point.

Look 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, office door, computer, wherever. Your note will say: “Week of May 15 – 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!)

Sometimes it’s an email you’ve been meaning to send. Sometimes it’s an article you’ve been meaning to read, checking on the unit’s supply of positioning aids, or completing the last few required fields before submitting to the IRB. It doesn’t have to be huge.

You can’t get ‘everything’ finished. You can’t make The Pile disappear all at once.

But you can complete one thing. IF NOTHING ELSE. And on Friday it will feel so good to cross it off your INE note.

Trial this each week for at least one month and watch The Pile become a mere Stack and then a Folder and then… Space.

You’ll feel happier and lighter and accomplish so much more.

If nothing else.

*This is one tiny part of building the habits and scheduling practices of an aligned leader. Learn more here.