Several months back I read Tim Egan’s Pilgrimage to Eternity. I am a sucker for books about long walks. Egan’s was really good. He references a great St. Francis of Assisi quote:
Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
I’ve had that quote in my mind so many times over the past few weeks and several times have ignored its sage wisdom to my own detriment.
Every (workday) morning, I follow a checklist called Morning Routine in my Things application that walks me through triaging my inboxes, checking various project status sites (Jira, etc.), responding to open loops in a bunch of different messaging platforms (SMS, Zoom, etc.) I have come to rely on this checklist very heavily over the past few years as working from home has allowed me to refine, add, hone and massage this checklist into a list that sets me up for a good day of work.
Lately though work has been entirely overwhelming for a variety of reasons (short-staffed, too many projects, interference with home priorities, etc.) and there have been several days over the past few weeks where I’ve sat at my desk in the morning and had a work inbox that was so backlogged with messages that I would just jump into my email. Once I do so, I almost never go back to my Morning Routine checklist. This is a bad thing. Stuff falls through the cracks. By responding to my inbox (the brightest/hotest burning fire) instead of doing what is necessary, I’m shooting myself in the foot.
This is just mostly a public reminder to myself to have faith in my checklists, do what is necessary first or I’ll never get to the possible let alone the impossible!