Start your day with the biggest, hardest and most important task first. Discipline yourself to begin immediately and then to persist until it’s complete before you go on to something else.
“Think on paper” — thinking takes places as much on paper as in your own head, as Sonke Ahrens wrote in How To Take Smart Notes.
“One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not be done at all”
- Decide exactly what you want
- Write it down
- Unwritten goals lead to confusion, vagueness, misdirection and numerous mistakes
- Set a deadline on your goal
- Make a list of everything that you can think of that you’re going to have to do to achieve your goal
- Organize the list into a plan
- Take action immediately
- Resolve to do something every single day to move you toward your major goal
Think about your goals and review them daily. Every morning when you begin, take action the most important task you can accomplish to achieve your most important goal at the moment
“Action without planning is the cause of every failure”
Every minute spent in planning saves as many as 10 minutes in execution
Six P: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance”
Always work from a list. Make your list the night before at the end of the workday. Move everything that you haven’t accomplished onto your list for the coming day and then add everything that you have to do the next day.
Different lists for different purposes.
Master list —> everything you can think of that you want to do sometime in the future. Sort it later.
Monthly list —> for the month ahead and con contain items from the master list
Weekly list —> plan the entire week in advance. Under construction as you go through the week
Daily list —> transfer items from monthly and weekly here
10/90 RULE. 10% of time spent planning and organizing your work, before you begin, will save you 90% of the time in getting the job done once you get started.
Lay out each of your major goals, projects, tasks by PRIORITY, and by SEQUENCE. THINK ON PAPER! ALWAYS WORK FROM A LIST.
Always ask: Is this task in the top 20% of my activities or in the bottom 80%?
“Resist the temptation to clear up small things first”
Whatever you choose to do, over and over, becomes a habit that’s hard to break. Don’t start a habit of starting your day with low value tasks.
If there’s a task or activity with large potential positive consequence, make it a top priority and get started on it immediately. If there’s something that can have large potential negative consequences if it is not done quickly, that becomes top priority as well.
“Just begin and the mind grows heated; continue, and the task will be completed!” — Goethe
Rank into ABCDE. If there are multiple As, then A-1, A-2. A —> something very important, B —> should do, C —> Nice to do, D —> delegate, E —> something you can eliminate altogether and it won’t make any real difference. Use the ABCDE method every day and on every work or project list.
Identify the key results area of your work.
For example for a company owner, negotiating a bank loan is a key result area. Hiring the right people and delegating effectively are both key result areas.
Rate yourself 1-10 in each of hose areas. Where are you strong? Where are you weak? Where are you getting excellent results and where are you underperforming?
Your weakest key result area sets the height at which you can use all your other skills and abilities.
What one skill, if I developed and did it in an excellent fashion would have the greatest positive impact on my career?
There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.
There will never be enough time to do everything you have to do
You will never get caught up —> get that out of your mind. All you can hope for is to be on top of your most important responsibilities —> choose which fires to let burn
—> What are you my highest value activities?
What are the biggest frogs that you have to eat to make the greatest contribution to your organization? To your family? To your life in general?
—> What can I and only I do, that if done well, will make a real difference?
Every hour of every day, you can ask yourself this question and there will be a specific answer. Your job is to be clear about the answer and then to start and work on this task before anything else
—> What is the most valuable use of my time, right now?
Your job is to ask yourself this question, over and over again, and to always be working on the answer to it, whatever it is.
The thing that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least — Goethe
Set up your work area to be comfortable. The most productive people take the time to create a work area where they enjoy spending time. The cleaner and neater your work area before you begin, the easier it is for you to get started and keep going.
Overcome procrastination tool: get everything completely ready to work in advance. When everything is laid out in order and sequence, you feel much more like getting on with the job.
It is amazing how many books never get written, how many life changing tasks never get stared because people fail to take the first step of preparing everything in advance.
When you sit down, with everything in front of you, ready to go, assume the body language of high performance. Sit up straight, sit forward and away from back of the chair. Carry yourself as though you were an efficient, effective high performing personality
Take a good look at your desk or office, both at home and at the office and ask yourself, “What kind of a person works in an environment like that?
The cleaner and neater your work environment, the more positive, productive and confident you feel. Resolve today to clean up your desk and office completely so you feel effective, efficient and ready to get going each time you sit down to work.
The only certain means of success is to render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be — Og Mandino
Learn what you need to learn so you can do your work in an excellent fashion. Continually upgrade your skills in your key result areas. However good you are today, your knowledge and skill is becoming obsolete at a rapid rate. Pat Riley —> If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse
Continuous learning is the minimus requirement for success in any field
Read in your field for at least one hour every day. Get up a bit earlier and read for 30-60 min in a book or magazine that contains information that can help you be more effective and productive at what you do
Take every course and seminar available on key skills that can help you. The more you learn, the more you can learn. Just as you build your physical muscles through physical exercise, you build your mental muscles with mental exercises.
Take stock of your unique talents and abilities on a regular basis. What is it that you do especially well? What are you good at? What do you do easily and well that is difficult for other people? Looking back at your career, what has been most responsible for your success in life and work to date? What have been the most significant frogs you have eaten in the past?
You are designed in a way that you will most enjoy doing the very things you have the ability to be the best at. What is it that you enjoy the most about your work. One of the great responsibilities of life is for you to decide what it is you really love to do and then to throw your whole heart into doing that special thing very very well.
You should always focus your best energies and abilities on starting and completing those key tasks where your unique talents and abilities enable you to do it well. You can’t do everything but you can do those few things in which you excel, the few things that can really make a difference.
—> What am I really good at?
—> What do I enjoy the most about my work?
—> What has been most responsible for my success in the past?
—> If I could do any job at all, what job would it be?
Identify the key constraints. There’s always a LIMITING FACTOR that determines how quickly and well you can get shit done. Study it and focus all your energies on alleviating the chokepoint.
80% of the constraints, the factors that are holding you back, are INTERNAL. They are within yourself, within your own personal qualities, abilities, habits, disciplines, or competencies. Only 20% are external to you or your business.
—> What is it in me that is holding me back?
Accept complete responsibility
—> What sets the speed at which I accomplish this goal? Why don’t I have it already?
Start a little earlier, work a little harder and stay a little later. Always look for ways to go the extra mile, to do more than you are paid for
Imagine each day that you have just received an emergency message and that you will have to leave town tomorrow for a month. If you had to leave town for a month, what would you absolutely make sure got done before you left? Whatever it is, go to work on that task right now.
Imagine that you just received an all expenses paid vacation as a prize, but you have to leave tomorrow morning or it will be given to someone else. What would you be determined to get finished before you left so that you could take that vacation?
Successful people continually put pressure on themselves to perform at high levels. Unsuccessful people have to be instructed and supervised and pressured by others.
Your body is like a machine that uses food, water and rest to generate energy that you then use to accomplish important tasks in your life and work. One of the most important things for being happy and productive is to guard and nurture your energy levels at all times.
Productivity declines after 8/9 hours of work.
Take 1 full day off every week.
- What am I doing physically that I should do MORE of?
- What am I doing that I should do LESS of?
- What am I not doing that I should START DOING if I want to perform at my best?
- What am I doing today that affects my health that I should STOP DOING altogether?
To keep yourself motivated, you must resolve to be a complete optimist. Determine to respond positively to the words, actions and reactions of the people and situations around you. Refuse to let unavoidable difficulties and daily setbacks affect your mood or emotions.
Talk to yourself positively all the time to boost your self esteem. Say things like “I like myself!” Over and over.
Control your thoughts. You become what you think. Think about thinks you want, not things you don’t want.
For you to do something new, you must complete or stop doing something old. Getting in requires getting out. Picking up means putting down.
Continually review your duties and responsibilities to identify those time consuming tasks and activities that you can abandon with no real loss. This is an ongoing responsibility that never ends.
Do the most difficult task first. Choose the most important task, the job that has the most serious potential consequence, if you do it or leave it undone.
- Set the table
- Plan every day in advance
- Apply the 80/20 rule to everything
- Consider the consequences
- Practice the ABCDE Method continually
- Focus on key result areas
- Law of Forced Efficiency
- Prepare thoroughly before you begin
- Do you homework
- Leverage your special talents
- Identify your key constraints
- Take it one oil barrel at a time
- Put the pressure on yourself
- Maximize your personal powers
- Motivate yourself into action
- Practice creative procrastination
- Do the most difficult task first
- Slice and dice the task
- Create large chunks of time
- Develop a sense of urgency
- Single handle every task
Typed from iPhone