I love making lists. I make lists for Christmas presents, guests for parties, foods to serve and activities to play, stops to make on cross-town shopping days, vacation destinations, things to do at home and more! Of course, I also maintain a task list at work. Between you and me, I sometimes add things to my list just so I can cross them off - what a great feeling that can be! Depending on the day, this list can be considered job security, potential opportunities for intern growth and development, or a coaster for my coffee cup. Although there are tasks that never seem to come off, most of the tasks change frequently. Most change, except that is, for Task Number Four.
What is Task Number Four? I will start by first telling you what Task Number Four is not. Task Number Four is not a suspense by higher headquarters that cannot be missed, an upcoming survey or audit, a congressional inquiry or an incident related to patient care. Task Number Four is not even the crisis resulting from lack of planning or foresight on your part or that of another or one of those things that you hope you will get to some day. Task Number Four is the task that you say you are going to work on first thing in the morning yet you leave at the end of the day without having had an opportunity to look at it. Task Number Four is important to others. At its core, for me, Task Number Four is a commitment I made to another that I have been unable to address. Time management, delegation and the 4 box urgent/priority grid aside, the reality is that there simply is not enough time in a day to get it all done.
I will complete Task Number Four. How? Well, I will start by making a list of schedule changes, meeting cancellations, and workload shifts necessary to do so. When I am done, I will cross Task Number Four off my list. I will cross this task off with more of a baited breath of relief than whoop of joy because not only do I know that it’s completion is long overdue, I know that as soon as I wake up from my nap (ha!) there will be another in it’s place.
You absolutely have got to love it and when I am well rested, I really do.