How To Turn “Meaning To” Into “Done”

Time Management Reminder“I’ve been meaning to get to that!”

Have you uttered that phrase recently? When we say this, it’s usually our way of saying, “Hey, look, I know that what you’re asking of me is important, and it’s been on my mind frequently, I just haven’t made it a priority yet.” The next time a task you’ve been meaning to do is on your mind, ask yourself the following three questions to turn meaning to into done.

1. Can I do it now?

When an important task is on your mind, it’s easy to say, “I’ll do it later” but what is stopping you from doing it right now? Is there a reason you can’t pick up the phone right now and make that call? Or type up that document? Or send that email? You might not feel like doing it now, but will you feel any more like doing it 24 hours from now? Instead of thinking about how long it will take, or how much you wish you didn’t have to do it, focus on how good it will feel to not have this task tugging at your mind anymore.

2. If not now, when?

Sometimes, we think of important tasks when we’re in the middle of something else and it would be distracting and counterproductive to drop what we’re doing and switch gears. In this case, instead of saying “later,” pull out your calendar and commit to “when.” Even if it’s a tiny task that doesn’t seem like it deserves it’s own place in your agenda, add it anyway. It’s much harder to put something off when you’ve validated its importance with a spot in your calendar.

3. If not when, ever?

If you’re still having trouble making this task a priority, is it really necessary? Remember, we make time for the things that are important to us. If you can’t make time, perhaps it’s because what you thought was important is really just something you wish was important or should be important. Either acknowledge it as something you value and start making the time, or accept that it’s something you can live without, and let it go.

Last week, I joined Toastmasters. I’ve been meaning to do it for the past year or so and just haven’t. I finally decided it was important, so I found a club, put it on my calendar, went to the meeting, and loved it. What have you been “meaning to do” this month? What are you waiting for?

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