Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We Have Five Fingers on Each Hand

It is early morning as I type. I am tempted to write another list. There is a rent cheque to be processed, two vital phone calls to make, a problem list to be updated, two technical issues to be resolved, .... plus my regular business-marketing tasks.

If I write a list it will bloom to 20 items within 60 seconds, and I'll not get them all done, and I'll feel bad at the end of the day.

I don't believe our brains have evolved to cope with 20. not really.

  • I can count to 20.
  • I can count to 100.
  • I can estimate the number of navy beans held in the cup of my hand.
  • But my brain can cope with five, maybe seven. Ten at most.

And when we are talking critical tasks, forget ten. My brain is too occupied with "emergency" to worry about 10.

My best strategy is to write down 4 tasks one on each of 4 blank business cards, and get those 4 done.

Perhaps by lunchtime I'll feel so good at completing my Urgent List that I'll be able to get 6 more done after lunch; but that will be a set of 4, followed by a set of 6, not a set of 10.

If I don't complete that second set, I will retain the feeling of success at completing my first set, completely!

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