I have a high rate of throughput. I write a lot, I offer online and in-person workshops, I have coaching and consulting clients. I’m busy, just like you.
One of my clients asked, “How do you get it all done?” He paused. “I bet you have rules for getting it all done. Care to share them?”
His first assumption was that I did get it all done. Uh, no. Not at all. I have a parking lot a mile long and more projects than I think I could do in my lifetime.
I’m kind of happy about that, because I know I have plenty of work :-) I don’t have to worry about running out of work. That is not the problem.
I am just like you. I have to pick and choose what to do and when. I don’t know anyone who gets it all done.
I had to change my perspective before I could increase my throughput. I knew that everything I was trying to do was important. It all took time. I had to be perfect before I delivered it.
Here’s what I did to change my perspective. I changed my rules into guidelines:
- Instead of knowing everything was important, I asked myself: What is most valuable right now and how long is it valuable?
- Instead of knowing that everything took time, I asked myself: What is the smallest piece of value I can release now?
- Instead of knowing that I had to be perfect, I asked myself: What is good enough for me/my clients/my students to use?
That changed my perspective. I changed my perspective on the other two rules I had, although they were not as hard as my perfection rule.
If you haven’t seen a rule transformation before, here is how you do it. I’ll use the perfection problem because I see that most often:
- State the rule, as precisely as you can. In my case, it was “I must always release a perfect product.”
- Change must to can: “I can always release a perfect product.” (Now, do you believe that? I have evidence I can’t :-))
- Change always to sometimes: “I can sometimes release a perfect product.” (I believe this.)
- Three or more circumstances when you can:
- “I can release a perfect product if it’s small.”
- “I can release a perfect product if I ask for enough help in the form of review and feedback.”
- “I can release a perfect product when I know enough about it.”
You might have other circumstances. These are mine.
Notice what happens when I change my rule like this. I have now given myself permission to iterate, to work in small chunks, to ask for feedback and to continue learning. I give myself other choices. I practice.
You’ve noticed I practice here. I practice writing and how to explain all these questions rolling around in my head. I practice in my other writing and I practice with my books. You see the final result, but I do practice.
I derive my actual techniques from these circumstances.
That is the question this week: What are your rules for getting it all done?
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