it! The most efficient way to
get through a task is to delete it. If it doesnít need to be
done, get it off your to do list.
goals. Without a clear
focus itís too easy to succumb to distractions. Set targets
for each day in advance. Decide what youíll do; then do it.
first. To defeat
procrastination learn to tackle your most unpleasant task first
thing in the morning instead of delaying it until later in the day.
This small victory will set the tone for a very productive day.
times. Identify your peak
cycles of productivity, and schedule your most important tasks for
those times. Work on minor tasks during your non-peak times.
uninterruptible blocks of time for solo work where you must
concentrate. Schedule light, interruptible tasks for your
open-communication periods and more challenging projects for your
Mini-milestones. When you begin a task, identify the target
you must reach before you can stop working. For example, when
working on a book, you could decide not to get up
until youíve written at least 1000 words. Hit your target no
Timeboxing. Give yourself a fixed time period, like 30
minutes, to make a dent in a task. Donít worry about how far
you get. Just put in the time.
Batching. Batch similar tasks like phone calls or
errands into a single chunk, and knock them off in a single session.
bird. Get up early in the
morning, like at 5am, and go straight to work on your most important
task. You can often get more done before 8am than most people
do in a day.
of silence. Take a laptop with
no network or WiFi access and go to a place where you can work flat
out without distractions, such as a library, park, coffee
house, or your own backyard. Leave your communication gadgets
Tempo. Deliberately pick up the pace and try to
move a little faster than usual. Speak faster. Walk
faster. Type faster. Read faster. Go home sooner.
Relaxify. Reduce stress by cultivating a relaxing,
Agendas. Provide clear written agendas to meeting
participants in advance. This greatly improves meeting focus
and efficiency. You can use it for phone calls too.
Pareto. The Pareto principle is the 80-20 rule which
states that 80% of the value of a task comes from 20% of the effort.
Focus your energy on that critical 20%, and donít over-engineer
the non-critical 80%.
Ready-fire-aim. Bust procrastination by taking action
immediately after setting a goal, even if the action isnít
perfectly planned. You can always adjust course along the way.
Minuteman. Once you have the information you need to
make a decision, start a timer and give yourself just 60 seconds to
make the actual decision. Take a whole minute to vacillate and
second-guess yourself all you want, but come out the other end with
a clear choice. Once your decision is made, take some kind of
action to set it in motion.
Deadline. Set a deadline for task completion and use
it as a focal point to stay on track.
Promise. Tell others of your commitments, since
theyíll help hold you accountable.
Punctuality. Whatever it takes, show up on time.
reading. Use reading to fill
in those odd periods like waiting for an appointment, standing in
line, or while the coffee is brewing.
Resonance. Visualize your goal as already accomplished.
Put yourself into a state of actually being there. Make it
real in your mind, and youíll soon see it in your reality.
prizes. Give yourself
frequent rewards for achievement. See a movie, book a
professional massage, or spend a day at an amusement park.
2. Separate the truly
important tasks from the merely urgent. Allocate blocks
of time to work on the critical Quadrant 2 tasks, those which are
important but rarely urgent.
Continuum. At the end of your workday, identify the
first task youíll work on the next day and set out the materials in
advance. The next day begin working on that task immediately.
and dice. Break complex
projects into smaller, well-defined tasks. Focus on completing
just one of those tasks.
Single-handling. Once you begin a task, stick with it until
itís 100% complete. Donít switch tasks in the middle.
When distractions come up, jot them down to be dealt with later.
Randomize. Pick a totally random piece of a larger
project and complete it. Pay one random bill. Make one
phone call. Write page 11 of your report.
days. Identify a new work
habit youíd like to form and commit to sticking with it for just
30 days. A temporary commitment is much easier to keep than a
Delegate. Convince someone else to do it for you.
Intuition. Go with your gut instinct. Itís