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Figuring out your D.D.A.E. equation! (part II)

Day 092/366 - To Do ListImage by Great Beyondvia Flickr

Okay... so... we are continuing our conversation about budgeting our time.

We're wanting to figure out your unique "D.D.A.E. equation." 

(That's deciding what you need to DO, DELEGATE, AUTOMATE or ELIMINATE.)

In my last post, I suggested starting this process with taking a "snap shot" of how you are currently spending your time.  I even included a tracking grid to help in the process.

Today, we are going to start by looking at the first "D" in the equation. 

Yup, that's right.  We're going to talk about what you actually need to be "DOING."

This sounds simple enough... doesn't it?  But whether you are a stay-at-home-parent, an entrepreneur or a high-level executive, we all seem to have a lot of stuff to do!

Some of this "stuff" represents things that we need to be doing... but some of it is stuff that we don't need to be doing anymore... right? 

How about you? 

After tracking your time for a week, did you figure out you were doing some things that you didn't need to be doing? 

Maybe, if you're like me, you found things slipping into the daily schedule due of bad habits, old habits or maybe because nobody else will do it!

Now, there are a lot of places to turn to get help on deciding what to do and not do. 

You can look to Covey's Four Quadrants.  (Click here to check out the quadrants represented in fun cartoon format!)  You can look to gurus like David Allen and read Getting Things Done.

Yup, these are great tools!

But I'm going to challenge you to think BIG PICTURE for a minute. 


Well, a lot of times we wind up doing things that we don't need to be doing because we don't REALLY know where we want to go. 

So, it's as Epictetus said, "First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do." 

This is what Tim Ferris did in his pursuit of the 4-Hour Work Week.  He got clear on what he wanted life to look like... and what he'd need to do to get there.  Then he started to align his daily tasks with that vision.

So... here are some questions to ponder:

  • What are some of things I want to achieve in the next five years? (Or how about 10 to 25 years?)
  • Who do I want to be?  Who do I feel called to be?  What do I want life to look like?

Then... as you are looking through your daily task lists... ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • Can I link this task to these goals?
  • Will this help me to achieve these goals?
  • How could this task help me in the pursuit of these goals and dreams?

Now, I'll admit that 100 percent of your to-dos won't pass this test.  They won't all clearly link to these big goals and dreams.

But what if you held yourself to a higher standard? 

What if you simply agreed to take a look at this? 

What if you were willing to at least consider these questions and hold yourself to a greater number of your daily tasks lining up with your bigger vision and goals? 

How might that help you move towards these goals and dreams?

Then... as you find tasks that align with your goals... you can start to think about ways to do more of those things.

And for the things that don't pass the test, you can agree to at least consider putting some of them in one of the upcoming categories in the D.D.A.E. equation!  (Delegate, Automate or Eliminate)

Stay tuned... because we'll be getting you specific strategies for these categories in the coming weeks!

Go ahead... take the challenge... think BIG picture... set up some targets to shoot for... and start aligning your day to these goals and dreams.

Give your schedule a kick in the pants!

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