This is the last book on productivity and focus I will read for probably a good long while.
This book cleared up the few remaining questions I had (IE how to use a schedule) and now effective time use has been squared away!
I highly recommend reading all the links in this post- you will come away with an understanding of EXACTLY how to get loads of shit done.
Start HERE when you are done with this post.
Time is your most important asset. Once it’s gone you can never get it back. Thus, using your time wisely is crucial.
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least”- Goethe
You must know WHAT to focus on and exactly HOW you are going to get it done (Max clarity in both!).
Figure out your most important goal.
The task that is most important to achieving this goal is your Most Important Task!
Make your MIT a calendar item and book it as early in the day as possible (Same advice from Eat That Frog!).
Calendars beat to-do lists. If you truly want to get something done, SCHEDULE IT
(Include exactly when and how you will accomplish the task).
Using A Calendar:
First, schedule a block of time for everything that is important to you (Working out, time with family, etc.).
Second, important items should be scheduled as early in the day as possible
(Both because this is when you are mentally sharpest and because it is unlikely something will “come up”).
Third, don’t cancel goals- reschedule them if you were interrupted.
Fourth, treat your time-blocked calendar entries as if they are all vital appointments. Follow the schedule!
(This will take time to master but DO NOT GIVE UP. Following a schedule is crucial for high functioning)
More Scheduling Info:
Time-block buffer, relaxation, and sleep time into your schedule.
Do not eat into your sleep time unless it is truly an emergency.
If you want to do anything (Like listening to music, video games, or open “free time”) then schedule it and do not go over the time you have given yourself.
For important tasks and learning, the longer you can schedule an uninterrupted block of time, the better.
(A key lesson from Deep Work)
1. Eliminate all distractions and useless tasks.
2. Use areas dedicated to a task for ONLY that thing.
IE- do not entertain yourself where you work. Do not work where you sleep. So on and so on.
3. Structure things so that your future self can’t screw things up (This is the whole point of a schedule!).
For example, if you want to lose weight don’t keep ANY shitty food in your house.
Your future self will likely find an excuse to eat that crap, so just get rid of it.
4. Think of all the benefits of doing the right thing and picture all of the horrible consequences of procrastinating.
(This advice is also given by Jordan Peterson)
IE- If you work out you will get strong, healthy, and sexually attractive. If you don’t, you will be unattractive,
mentally slow, and die prematurely in a painful way. (Worth mentioning that if you are fat when your children are conceived
you will predispose them to be the same way. Epigenetics! See how to be healthy HERE)
5. Have people around that hold you accountable.
IE- Join a study group or get a workout buddy.
6. Reward yourself for goal attainment and punish yourself for goal failure.
(Making one or more of your free time sessions into work time is a good self punishment, and has the upside of getting more done)
7. Just get started. Immediately.
Read at least one book a week. Even a very busy person can get through audiobooks while driving and exercising.
Make time for dinner with your family, for fuck’s sake.
There will always be more to do.
Once you have put in your time for the day (With Energy and Focus, towards important tasks) then lay off.
Spend time with your family, work out, get sleep. These things are not worth sacrificing AT ALL!
Carry a notebook wherever you go! Write down important shit, thoughts/ideas, and things that need to be scheduled.
(If you want to be able to put it in your pocket you can buy a waiter’s pad)
Take notes by hand, not on a computer. MUCH greater recall of the information this way.
Unsubscribe from newsletters and any other crap.
Turn off notifications.
Only check email 3 times a day- Morning (NOT until you have accomplished your MIT for the day!), Noon, and Night (NOT right before bed).
When you read an email, immediately Do (Immediately or schedule on calendar), Delegate, or Delete/file away in a marked folder.
Send less emails to receive less emails. Keep your emails as short as possible.
Indicate if action is required/ your email is important in the title.
Everyone stands up.
Do not include unnecessary people.
Keep it as short and clear as possible.
No smartphones allowed.
Schedule and attend meetings as a last resort, when all other forms of communication won’t work.
“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything”
– Warren Buffet
Every “yes” is a “no” to something else. Make it count. #FOCUS
Say no to everything that does not support your goals and responsibilities.
Always remember the 80/20 rule. Use your time on the 20 percent of activities that produce 80 percent of results.
(And start with the most important of these and work from most important tasks to least important tasks, as mentioned before)
Drop useless tasks!
Delegate everything you can (Starting with things you don’t like and are not good at).
Redesign activities and routines to make them simple, save time, and get rid of bottlenecks.
“Theming” your days (Spending a day working on nothing but one task or a set of tasks similar to each other) is a great way to increase focus and thus get more done.
If a task is short enough not to interfere with a pre-scheduled task (5 min or less) do it immediately.
Have a mindset of “touch it once”- especially for mail and email.
Once you have started a task, FINISH IT. Switching between tasks wastes time (And so does “multitasking”).
Have a fucking SOLID morning routine.
(IDEAS- Get up early, 5 or 6.
Eat a big breakfast with lots of protein, fat, and fiber.
Read your ultimate goals/ most important things in life to remember.
Shower and get dressed.
Listen to motivating music or an audiobook while you do all of this.
Then GET AT IT!)
Increase your Energy to increase your productivity.
Energy starts with health:
Exercise (High intensity cardio best for increasing energy. Do weights too)
Get plenty of sleep.
Don’t get fat. Don’t do anything that is bad for you.
Productivity is about Energy and Focus WAY more than amount of available time.
Have a “stop doing” list.
Avoid social media! Its a time killer (The entire internet is tbh).
Don’t watch tv.
“A wise person does at once what a fool does at last. Both do the same thing; only at different times”
– Baltasar Gracian
“Better 3 hours too soon than 1 minute too late”
“He who knows most grieves most for wasted time”
“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all”