Getting the Rocks Out of Your Shoes

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Apr 19

Most of you know that I am an advocate and practice the Getting Things Done Methodology written about by David Allan. It’s a good methodology and an excellent framework within which to be productive in today’s fast paced world.

A key principle of the methodology is the need to do a “weekly review” of all open loops that are getting my attention to ensure that what I have on all my lists is clean. Or, in the current vernacular, has hard edges.

The deal is, I haven’t been doing my weekly review for about three weeks now. And, in the last three weeks, I’ve had a lot of changes at work, moved my home and been unpacking, and have had other personal changes in my life as well.

Quite unsettling to say the least. I’d say my stress level is the highest it has been in months.

Isn’t it amazing that at the very time we need to implement the tool that will relieve our stress that we fall back on ignoring the very thing that will help us? It happens all of the time and is a hard habit to change.

When I analyze what is happening and why it happens, it is clear to me that I can’t do a weekly review while at work. There is no quiet time. There are always interruptions. And with the great emphasis of personal work because of the move, it sometimes seems that it is better to do the tasks instead of think about the tasks.

All of this is the wrong approach. And I hate being the poster child for not doing the right thing to maintain productivity!

You know the marathon? You work and train and practice to do the 26-miles. There are no breaks — just like our work at work. But there is a rock or two in your shoe. It makes it pretty tough to continue on. Do I stop, losing time to others and get the rocks out of my shoe, or keep going? If I keep going, will I concentrate on the rocks in my shoe or the objective of the marathon? Yup, the rocks will rule because they are constantly getting my attention.

My rocks are turning into boulders. Running the marathon isn’t an option with rocks grating you at every step.

It’s time for the review. How about you?

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.