Have you started your day with this feeling?
You have learned all of the tricks. You have used your “productivity planner” to write down your three most important tasks; however, you are still not sure you will be able to get everything done.
At Think Time, we say, “Don’t stop there!” If you only identify your top priorities, and stop there, you may unintentionally have your opportunities for success stripped from your hands. Keep reading to find out how to avoid this time trap.
This is where Think Time diverges from the typical “productivity” day planner. Most day planners ask you to identify your top three items and wish you well. Think Time’s comprehensive system takes you QUITE a bit further.
In this blog, we will introduce you to just one of the ways the Think Time system boosts your chances of accomplishing what is most important to you. Whether you own a Think Time yet or don’t, you won’t forget this practice once you’ve learned about it. It is truly a game-changer!
In the dream phase of Think Time, you will notice a tool with a lot of circles of various sizes. If you look more closely, you will notice three large circles and several smaller ones.
This is the Rosebush Tool.
With the Rosebush Tool, you will not only identify your top three priorities, but you will also actively identify the lesser priorities that threaten to steal your limited time, focus, and resources.
How does it work?
When a master gardener grows prize-winning roses, she first identifies the roses that are the most robust–that carry the most potential to thrive. She then carefully prunes branches from the rest of the rosebush to funnel the limited resources of the bush to her chosen roses. Making tough calls, the gardener prunes dead branches, old branches, weak branches, and even good branches that simply are not the best. By pruning, she protects what is most valuable to her.
As you #taketimetothinktime, you also take time to identify those things that can get in the way of accomplishing your high priority goals. Here you make the tough decisions and the hard calls. Here, you actively take things out of your life to make room for what matters most.
Here is how it works.
First, identify your top priorities for the time period you are think-timing. Second, identify what could distract you from your goals. For instance, some things are on your calendar because they were important two years ago but they really are no longer relevant today. Some other activities are good activities, but when you look more closely, they simply don’t generate results. Some are simply bad habits that steal your time while others may actually be other people’s responsibilities. Do a quick assessment of your activities to see what you need to prune to protect what matters most to you.
Take a look at this example from a day in the life of a manager.
This manager had three top priorities: completing a set of revisions for the owner, finishing the “who’s on what” plan for the next stage, and finalizing a presentation. Using the Rosebush tool, he is proactively anticipating interruptions, distractions, and time-stealers that could come his way. By actively pruning these before beginning the day, he prevents countless hours of frenzied activity focused on the wrong things and proactively protects what matters most.
Here is a sample Rosebush tool from a stay-at-home mom who is trying to finish a painting, maintain an orderly and clean home, and preserve family time at night.
Now, take a moment and try it yourself.
What are your top priorities for today or this week? How much do you really want to accomplish them? Identify your prize roses. What could potentially get in the way of accomplishing what matters most to you? Now make the tough calls. Label the “other roses.” What do you need to “prune?”
How did it go?
When you take time to prune, you prevent lost opportunity and protect what matters most to you. Without taking this critical step, your top priorities may suffer from unintentional lack of focus and attention. Don’t let this happen to you and your priorities.
Take Time to Think Time.
Identify your top three priorities. #prune #rosebushtool @thinktimetweets think-time.com
Actively identify the lesser priorities that threaten to steal your limited time, focus, and resources. @thinktimetweets think-time.com
Some things on your calendar are no longer relevant today. #prune #rosebushtool @thinktimetweets think-time.com
Some bad habits steal our time. #prune #rosebushtool @thinktimetweets think-time.com
Some activities simply do not generate results. #prune #rosebushtool @thinktimetweets think-time.com
What could potentially get in the way of accomplishing what matters most to you? #prune #rosebushtool @thinktimetweets think-time.com
Make the tough calls. #prune #rosebushtool @thinktimetweets think-time.com
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*To delve more deeply into “letting go” to make room for what is most important we recommend two resources for further study.
- Necessary Endings by author and psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud. The chapter on “pruning” was the inspiration for Think Time’s rosebush metaphor.
- From the perspective of a seasoned professional organizer, we recommend SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life by Julie Morgenstern.