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You have three categories of daily work. When you understand these, you can better clarify, manage, and renegotiate your total inventory of projects and actions.
1. Doing work as it appears:
When you turn your attention to something unexpected that turns up (your boss asks you to stop by her office, for example), you’re deciding by default that this is more important than anything else you have to do.
2. Doing predefined work:
When you’re doing predefined work, you’re working off your Next Actions lists, completing tasks that you have previously determined need to be done.
3. Defining your work:
Defining your work entails clearing up your in-tray, your email, your voicemail, your meeting notes, etc., and processing new projects into into action steps. Once you’ve defined all your work, you can trust that your lists of things to do are complete.
This week, challenge yourself to spend more time doing predefined work and defining your work. Most people spend too much of their time doing work as it shows up.
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