You’re Not Overwhelmed…You’re Employed.
Are the most valuable players in your company:
(a) leaving home each night with 100% of their to-do list marked “complete?”
(b) leaving home each night with a to-do list larger than the one they started with in the morning?
The answer might surprise you. It’s true that high-performers are incredibly productive and efficient, which is why most of us believe that high achievers are ninjas when it comes to checking things off their to-do list. But after years of observing super-performers in their natural habitat (call it a weird hobby), I’d be willing to bet that they approach their to-do lists with far less sanctity than we suppose.
Many of the high performers I know are constantly revising and assessing their “to-dos” based on the needs of the moment, the month, the year, and the 5-year plan. High performers recognize that their added value lies in the white space rather than the black ink of their job descriptions, so they are always taking on new tasks and challenges without being prodded by upper management. Super-achievers understand that a full to-do list doesn’t mean you’re overwhelmed…it means you’re employed. The whole idea of a full-time job is that there is always more work to do than can be done in a day. It is a constant state of over-extension, stress, and angst…especially you rely on a blank to-do list as a symbol of status and achievement.
If you’re overwhelmed, it may be time to rethink how you distribute your time. Here are some ideas: