I have come to the realization that, in addition to my daily or weekly To-Do list, I also need a Perhaps list.  By this I mean that I need to be realistic in what I can accomplish in the 24 hours I have in a day.  When I have discussed this with people, the idea of the Perhaps list seems to resonate.  It’s not an excuse list; it’s simply a realistic assessment of what is physically possible for me to accomplish and an identification of where I can be the most effective. If I first address that which I truly must do, I can then begin addressing other goals and responsibilities.

In thinking more about this concept of the Perhaps list, it struck me that while my intent for this list was to allow me to focus more on that which I must do, it is very possible to subconsciously invert the two lists.  For example, I know countless professionals who are just short of completing their PhD.  Their thesis has fallen from their To-Do list to a Perhaps list or, worse yet, to the “Not Gonna Happen” list.  For me, it’s finishing the edits for my book.  How is it that this goal, which once burned vibrantly within me, now holds a slot on my Perhaps list?

Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate the items on the Perhaps list (and the circumstances that got them there) and move some of them back up to the To-Do list.  Just because something isn’t screaming at us doesn’t mean it’s not an important place to focus our time and energy.  As I have long said, prioritization isn’t about addressing that which is “urgent”; it is about identifying where we can have the most impact, where we can be the most effective.

Now, back to the book…

Clifford A. Bailey
writer, speaker, CEO

This entry was posted on Monday, August 29th, 2011 at 12:45 pm and is filed under Effectiveness, Emotional Intelligence. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.