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Struggling to get everything done?

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Most managers feel relentless time pressure.

We think, if I can just get over this hump, then I’ll get on top of things…. but the hump never passes.

Fortunately, there’s a solution that doesn’t require killing yourself with more work. Here’s how.

The answer is acceptance and better organisation.

First, we have to accept a few things:

  • The demands on our time will never subside. When you’re good at your job, more people ask you to do more things. Plus, if you have a critical eye, you’ll always have lots of things you want to improve.
  • We can’t just keep tipping in more time. It’s neither scalable or sustainable. Therefore, we will never get everything done.
  • We can control our workload. It’s not always easy and often requires disappointing people in the short term. But the CEO of Walmart manages two million people and he’s subjected to the same laws of time as we are. If he can find a way, we can find a way.

When we accept that we will never get everything done, we can stop striving to. The unrealistic pursuit of completing everything is a fool’s errand (and… I’ve been a fool!). And it’s a source of chronic stress.

At the same time, we can focus on ensuring that the things we don’t get done are the least impactful. We do this through better organisation.

There’s a freedom to be found in organising our work in a systematic, but simple, manner. By developing simple quarterly, weekly and daily routines that help us gain a sense of control over our work and a confident clarity on our priorities.

The benefits are twofold:

  1. Our stress levels go down, as our sense of control goes up
  2. Our impact increases, as we better prioritise our efforts towards our long term goals

This sounds good and straightforward.

But one of the problems I’ve observed is a lack of simple, practical and effective personal organisation tools that help managers take control of their workload.

And my old personal trainer once told me that the best workout program is the one you’ll stick to.

The same is true for personal organisation systems.

That’s why Joel and I are developing the Impact Journal as one of the products in our Impact Society pipeline.

It will be a diary-like organiser tailored to the needs of modern managers.

It will be simple, practical and effective. And beautiful!

We’ve been studying the competition. They sometimes nail one, maybe two, of those elements, but never all four.

Joel studying the competition

We are going to develop a planner that managers want to use. Because it works. Because it’s easy to follow. And because it looks and feels great (ever noticed how bland and old school most business-related products are?).

If you’d like to stay up to date on the Impact Planner’s development and release, sign up to our mailing list here.


I’m referring in this article to the chronic workload stress that affects most managers, most of the time. I’m not referring to people who are subjected to unreasonable – perhaps bullying – levels of pressure from their organisation. That’s a whole other topic, which I’m not seeking to address (or trivialise) here.