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Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today

Life can get overwhelming with taskers, due-outs, deadlines, professional obligations, and family commitments.  Many of us take on more than we can handle in fear that we may lose out on an opportunity or expose that we are not reliable.  Over the past year I have found it extremely difficult to stay on track and organized with my day to day.  I thought with my new schedule I would be home more and be able to finally tackle a lot of the projects around the house and dedicate more time to family than I was able to before.  I thought that with my new position, I’d be able to dedicate more time and energy without distractions to improving the program I am responsible for and becoming a more progressive steward of leadership.  Until yesterday I realized that I am not staying focused and as organized as I should be.  Which is what inspired me to write this piece.

I have a frame in my office with a quote from President Abraham Lincoln that says, “Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.” Until yesterday I took this quote too serious and instead have overloaded myself and become unorganized.  My priorities, because of this have been all out of sorts and make no sense at all.  While my family is my first priority, my career and my team are a close second, then my educational development is third.  I have been finishing up my degree, initiating the process of writing my first book, tackling my professional obligations and taskers, and trying to put time into being with my family.  If you read that again, you will see that my family came last in that list even though I think they are supposed to be first.  Here is where I had my epiphany, I have been following Lincoln’s quote all wrong for years.  I have focused so much on trying to accomplish too many tasks out of fear of missing out that I am leaving things that should’ve been done today for tomorrow.  So, I have briefly broke down what I have assessed and what I will attempt my new approach to be in an effort to help better organize my life and my day to day.

Family

  • The number one item of each day is this.
    • Before, during and after you have tackled your “to do” list, time with family is the most important.
  • Spend every minute you can with your family as if you won’t see them tomorrow.
    • Work and personal development can be very taxing on our psychology, however the time we have with our family should be the relaxing part of the day. Don’t distance yourself from your family, they are your number one fans and your biggest support.

Professionally:

  • Create an assignment or “to do” list for each day, make it realistic and leave room for not every item to be done on that day.
  • Review what still needs touched up or worked on from yesterday, then focus energy and efforts onto the most important challenge of the day.
  • DON’T be afraid to ask for help!
    • Too many times are we either afraid to ask or our egos won’t allow us to show that we can’t handle something on our own. Recruit players from your team to help you execute and accomplish the tasks that you need done.
  • Close out each day as if you are not coming back the next. Don’t scramble and rush projects, simply obey your “to do” list and if things come up as the often time will do, finish what you can as if you can’t tomorrow.
    • This will help avoid procrastination, simply because as stated before, things WILL come up and if you are already approaching each new day with the attitude of “I’ll get to it tomorrow” you will certainly never finish anything.

Personal Development:

  • Try to set a minimum of 30 minutes a day to personal development.
  • Commit yourself to personal development because with proper personal development you are able to grow and stay fresh.
    • If that is through professional development for your career, by proper dedication to that development you are setting yourself up for promotions or raises etc.
    • If you are pursuing a degree, that educational development is both great to continue to keep the brain working and unlocked to learning, but it also helps with career advancement.
  • Set the time needed each week to focus on these items, this will help keep you organized, feeling less overwhelmed and develop you, which is the reason you are doing it in the first place.

 

As Lincoln said, “leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.”  Well, I won’t.  I plan on spending each day I can with my family as if I won’t be able to tomorrow.  As for my professional life and personal development, I will focus on the things that I can handle and get those done as if I won’t be able to work on them tomorrow.  But that’s just it, I will focus on WHAT I CAN HANDLE and more importantly what I can realistically accomplish.  As Mike & Anne Gagliano say “put your family first” well, my family is the most important and I will no longer leave the time I can spend with them today for tomorrow because if you’re afraid of missing out, I can assure you that you are missing a lot every minute you put off with time spent with the ones who matter most.

 

In all that you do, God bless, take care, and stay safe!

Dave McGlynn

Passion in Leading, LLC

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