Get Stuff Done
In his incredible book Deep Work, Cal Newport states that the ability to focus and accomplish deep work is more important than ever. Yet there are less people doing it due to the disjointed state of our lives. Thus, productivity hacks become some of the most searched for tools on the internet.
The illustration to the right is the culmination of a number of books and tools that can help us focus.
At the top of the funnel there is everything we can do. This is not something we can possibly accomplish so we need to Eliminate as much as possible. Focus only on the things we need to do.
Then, if it has to get done, what can we Automate? Think of email auto responders or IFTTT.
If it still must get done and it cannot be Automated, Delegate it.
We often say “it’s just easier if I do it.” This is lazy thinking and we cannot grow a great business doing it all ourselves. On the next page, there is a model for delegation. Delegate everything but the things only you can do. Only you can be your spouses partner or the parent to your child.
It has come to us. We cannot Eliminate it, Automate it or Delegate it, we must do it. First, however, does it have to be done right now? If not, Procrastinate.
We know the quadrant of Important vs. Urgent. What is urgent should not win out over what is important. Some things we put off get discovered as meaningless. Focus on what MUST get done and you will be surprised at how much you accomplish.
Now, for the Execution:
End of Day Planning: at the end of your day when you are fresh on what is important for tomorrow, take 15 minutes to reflect on your day and create your next day’s to do list.
Must Do’s: first thing at your desk, review your list from the night before and order them A: things that Must Get Done today, B: things that don’t need to be done today and C: everything else. Then, take the A’s and sort them most vital to least. Then, compete with yourself to see how fast you can get A1 done.
55|5: Once you have your day planned, set a timer for 55 minutes and eliminate all distractions. Focus on the task at hand until the alarm goes off and take a 5-minute break. Stretch, walk around and step back into focus for another 55-minute stretch. After two, take a longer break and repeat the cycle.
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