Your Comfort Zone Wall


No-Frills Calendar

How it can slow down your Things-To-Do list.

Contributor: Jim Kearney 6/18/2018

Advancement in any organization means being pushed up against your comfort zone on a regular basis. Learning new skills come with the territory if you want that next great position.

So one would think that placing an item on your TTD list would fall into the same type learning curve. Not even close!

Learning your job is a planned progression of connected skill sets. It usually includes a training protocol and mentors among other opportunities to guide you along the way..

The things to do list is a list of mostly unconnected singular tasks. Some with completely different goals. Each represents a possible time blocking issue caused by something outside your comfort zone.

One way to short circuit a comfort zone wall delay is to make sure you prioritize your list.

A TTD benefit analysis is a way to measure and prioritize each item on your list considering the following:

Its timing -At what point or period of time does the task need to be completed?

The progress needed - What developmental or learning steps are needed to move the project along?

Its value to the company- The measure of your activity to the company. The more value added or return to the company - the higher the priority.

Your personal values - NOT money but hmm.. No, what is meant here is, what values you have that you want to protect. Everyone has them; some more than others. Such values as being efficient, loyal, reliable, dependable or honest. Just to mention a few. Keeping these in mind when planning your activities will help guide you in properly setting your priorities.

To put a finer point on it: I'm not talking about selecting activities to showcase the values you have or to impress. In checking your priorities you want to make sure you do not run afoul of your personal values. More on this in other articles.

Once you have thoughtfully prioritized your list of those outside your comfort zone will become self evident. It's now time to pull the outside item(s) into your realm of comfort.

That may require ...

1. More information - Most times things that seem complicated in life only lack knowledge of the topic. Be inquisitive. Ask questions, search an operations manual, discuss things with a mentor just to name a few sources. The point is the more you lean about a new skill the less complicated and more doable it will seem.

2. Break the task down into smaller bites.

This only works if the task can be broken down into individual items. If so, the fact that it can be done, indicates that it's really a project and should be treated as such. That fact alone may reveal why one feels it's outside of one's comfort zone.

Example:

"Complete XYZ project", is not a viable T-T-D item.

This is not a step. It is too broad. In general, whatever XYZ stands for, it is a project and would require a series of activities.

Yes you could place those on your Things To Do List but you would be guessing as to the chronology of each step. Plus, given the best practices of TTD Lists, it would need to be completed that day. That's why the No-Frills Calendar has Project Planning Forms. (See the link below)

On the project planning forms you can list the action steps that need to be completed. It's one sheet, or possibly more, of paper that has, in sequence, including the who, what and where is needed to successfully complete a project.

Now, this is where the Things-To-Do list becomes useful, whenever an action step from the project sheet come into play simply place on your T-T-D along your other activities for that day.

3. Creating a separate Project Planner.

Download One of our free Project Planning Forms or create one of your own.

Brainstorm the steps you will need to accomplish or learn to reach your goal.

Leave several spaces between each step in case you have not figured out every step.

Transfer the next step to your daily Things To Do List. Check them off as they are completed on your project planning form.

It's fun learning new things and welcoming them inside your personal comfort zone.


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