Here we go with 2018 and the PEP Talk for kick starting another new year with the art of being busy.
At this time of year, many of us indulge in our New Year’s Resolutions; Those once a year bursts of great intention and endeavour that peter out within the next few weeks, as the status quo returns. It all becomes more exciting when we have multiple resolutions and things start getting super busy.
So what’s the best way to make great progress, at scale? It’s about giving yourself a PEP Talk; Your daily reminder for how to start and maintain that all important momentum when things are at their busiest.
PEP Talk is an acronym for Prioritise, Enjoy and Pace.
Prioritise is vital when it comes to being busy. There is invariably no way we can achieve everything we want to as we create those all important To Do action lists. So to begin we need to rate everything on our list, somewhere between 1-10, with 1 being least important to achieving our end goal and 10 being essential. We also need to rate each thing on our list by urgency, with 1 being it can be done at any time and 10 being it has to be done immediately because it will otherwise be bottlenecking other things or that the moment will have passed. Now apply the multiplier approach. For each item on our list, multiply its importance score by its urgency score. Then put all items in their priority order with the highest multiplier score at the top and the lowest at the foot of the list.
Now comes the clever part. Apply the Pareto Principle to your prioritised list and know that 80% of the value of your actions will come from the top 20% of your list. Park the rest and add them to tomorrow’s (or next week’s) list, to be re-prioritised relative to new actions.
Enjoy is the second ingredient in your PEP Talk.
When we are busy we all want to enjoy what we are doing rather than become stressed by the pressures of meeting deadlines, hitting targets and getting washed along in a tide of relentless activities. Many commentators will tell you that the most enjoyment comes from working on things that are moving you closer to your true purpose. This might be a high level spiritual ambition, or for the more practically-focused, simply a set of ambitious stretch targets related to lifestyle, money or position.
Keeping our high level ambitions ‘front-of-mind’ helps to stimulate the endorphins that make us feel great. We work and act with positive purpose, we have reason and feel high levels of energy when others become tired and lazy.
The final element in your PEP Talk is Pace.
To pace oneself means to find and live just below the virtual bar, above which we become tired, possibly ill and begin to denounce our actions and plans. Pacing is an art in itself and a fine line upon which to balance. The key is to continually review how you are feeling as your day ebbs and flows between achievable and overwhelming. Somewhere in this spectrum of feelings is your ideal pace and one which makes you feel alive and stretched at the same time as capable and un-phased.
So good luck with your New Year’s Resolutions and remember to regularly give yourself a PEP Talk to ensure you are still focused, achieving and happy, into the Spring and beyond…