This is a little trick I like to do from time to time. I should actually do it more often but to be honest, it slips my mind. When I do it, though, I notice a difference in my work and in the quality of my daily routine.

First, I list the 3 things that kept me from doing work last week. For most of us, there was possibly at least one crisis on there that needed our attention. For some of us, there was procrastination.

Next, I list the 3 things that will keep me from doing work next week. This is an interesting exercise because I'm so used to forward planning positive outcomes that trying to think about what bad things could happen or whether or not I will procrastinate is fairly difficult! But it's still good practice.

Finally, I try to deal with those issues before next week. The procrastination can be dealt with by planning a little better and creating rewards for work done. Anticipating crises and dealing with them today is where the real value of this exercise shows itself. Rather than thinking “I'll cross that bridge when I come to it” we're planning for and planning AROUND crises.