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Eliminate All But the Absolute Essential Tasks : zen habits

Batch small tasks

Write those down on another small list of small tasks, for later.

Set a time (30 minutes or so) to batch process these tasks sometime later in the day (perhaps 4 p.m.). Do your most important tasks first, and then do all the small tasks at the same time. 

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Eliminate All But the Absolute Essential Tasks : zen habits

Eliminate All But the Absolute Essential Tasks : zen habits

https://zenhabits.net/eliminate-all-but-the-absolute-essential-tasks/

zenhabits.net

6

Key Ideas

Eliminate

See if you can cut your tasks and projects lists in half. Then try to cut them even further a few days later.

See which tasks aren't necessary anymore and find the ones that can be delegated.

Know what’s essential

You really should focus on one goal at a time, but if you want to do 2 or 3, that’s OK too.

Any smaller tasks are essential if they help you accomplish those goals, and not essential if they’re not related.

Simplify your commitments

You can't do it all. Only stick to those commitments in your life that really give you joy and value.

For the rest, you need to learn to say no, and value your time. 

Big Rocks

Figure out the most important tasks that you’d like to accomplish over the week. Those are your Big Rocks. 

Put them in your schedule, first thing in the day, on different days of the upcoming week. Make those the most important tasks each day, and do them first.

The Biggest value

Some tasks really pay off in the long term, and others just keep you busy and in the long run, don’t matter at all.

Focus on those big tasks, that will make a name for you, that will generate long-term income, that will give you lasting satisfaction and happiness. 

Batch small tasks

Write those down on another small list of small tasks, for later.

Set a time (30 minutes or so) to batch process these tasks sometime later in the day (perhaps 4 p.m.). Do your most important tasks first, and then do all the small tasks at the same time. 

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Leonardo da Vinci

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

Leonardo da Vinci
The 4 laws of simplicity

... you can use on any area of your life, and in fact on your life as a whole:

  • Collect everything in one place.
  • Choose the essential, the things most important to you.
  • Eliminate the rest. Don't get sentimental.
  • Organize the remaining stuff neatly and nicely.
Confucius
Confucius

"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated."

Living the 80/20 Life

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto principle, states that we need to focus on the few things that get us the most benefit.

For a lot of events, approximately 80% of the effects c...

The Most Important Tasks (MITs)

Choose three Most Important Tasks for each day, and focus completely on gettting them done within a specific time.

If you add more than three, and you might not get them all done. By limiting yourself to a small number of things, you force yourself to focus only on the essential.

Success List

Instead of following a to-do list, make a shorter one called "success list". Why make one?

  • It aims you in a specific direction
  • It is an organized directive.

If your to-do list contains everything, then it’s probably taking you everywhere but where you really want to go.

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The Not-To-Do List: Habits to Stop
  • Do not answer calls from unrecognized phone numbers
  • Do not e-mail first thing in the morning or last thing at night
  • Do not agree to meetings with no clear ...
Meetings with unclear agendas

If the desired outcome is defined clearly with a stated objective and agenda listing topics/questions to cover, no meeting or call should last more than 30 minutes.

Request them in advance so you can best prepare and make good use of the time together.

Prioritizing important stuff

If you define the single most important task for each day, almost nothing else seems urgent or important. The answer to overwhelm is not spinning more plates — or doing more — it’s defining the few things that can really fundamentally change your life.

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Keep everything as simple as possible
The more credit cards you have, the more chances you have for identity theft and the more chances you have to miss a payment. The more investment accounts you have, the less attention you can give ...
Don’t ever let your “future self”...
...take care of your current situation.

Your future self might have more income, but it’s also fairly likely that your future self might have less income and you’ll find yourself in a really bad situation. 

Even if your future self is doing well, there are probably going to be other big expenses that you’ll want to deal with at that time, like buying a house.

Focus on...
  • Building an emergency fund: set up an automatic weekly or monthly transfer from your checking account to your savings, then leave the savings alone until an emergency appears.
  • Eliminating high-interest debt: Set up a simple debt repayment plan by organizing your debts by interest rate, then attempt to make a double payment on whatever debt has the highest interest rate.
  • Saving for retirement: It will actually end up being a much smaller burden than you expect,  lifted up by the pleasure of knowing that you’re securing your retirement.

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Zen to Done (ZTD)

It's a productivity system that teaches how to take a simple approach to improving your productivity, by encouraging you to focus on forming one productivity-boosting habit at a time. 

The Minimalist Habits of Zen to Done
  • Collect: Get ideas and to-dos out of your brain and onto a list.
  • Process: Review your list daily and decide how to act on each item.
  • Plan: Pick a few high priority items to accomplish each week and every day.
  • Do: Schedule time to accomplish your selected to-dos without interruptions.
The Collect Habit

To clear your mind and improve focus, get your ideas and to-dos out of your mind and onto a list. 

Documenting to-dos in the moment lessens the likelihood that you'll forget to do something and gives you a master list of to-dos to reference when you're trying to decide where to direct your time.

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9 Habits to Eliminate
  1. Don't answer calls from unrecognized phone numbers. Don't waste time knowing the one who called, leave it in the voicemail.
  2. Do not e-mail first thing in the morning or last t...
The philosophy of working "smart"

... is to maximize your productivity when you are working so that you can get more stuff done in shorter periods of time.

By working smarter, you'll find yourself with more time in th...

Find the to-do list app that work for you

The best one for you depends entirely on your working style and personal preferences.

You can use a physical notebook around everywhere you go, but it's easier to use a to-do list app or tool that syncs across all your devices. That way, you can access your to-do items whenever and wherever you need to, whether you're at your desk, in a meeting, or on a business trip.

Prepare in advance

Write out your to-do list the day before:

  • You'll free your time to dive right into your to-do list in the morning - one of the most productive times of day.
  • It can help you spot obstacles ahead of time and prepare accordingly.
  • Knowing what you have going on well in advance could help you relax and sleep better the night before.

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Getting Things Done: the basics
  • Capture. Write down everything you need to do.
  • Clarify. Break down each task into an actionable next step. 
  • Organize. Move each of those actionable ta...
The 2-minute rule
If a task takes less than 2 minutes, then do it now.

If the effort to keep remembering a task is more than just getting it out of the way now, then do it.

Fixing small tasks
  • Fixing things is empowering. Our confidence increases or decreases based on our ability to make progress. 
  • Any progress builds momentum (and your mood): No matter how small the task is, crossing it off your to-do list gives you a boost of momentum and enhances your mood.
  • Small steps turn into habits: When a task is easy to do and quickly completed, it’s much easier to turn it into a habit.

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Brian Tracy

Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life de..."

Brian Tracy
Work Around Your Energy Levels

Productivity is directly related to your energy level.

Find your most productive hours — the time of your peak energy — and schedule Deep Work for those periods. Do low-value and low-energy tasks (also known as shallow work), such as responding to emails or unimportant meetings, in between those hours.

Plan Your Day the Night Before

Before going to bed, spend 5 minutes writing your to-do list for the next day. These tasks should help you move towards your professional and personal goals.

You’ll be better prepared mentally for the challenges ahead before waking up and there won’t be any room for procrastination in the morning. As a result, you’ll work faster and smoother than ever before.

21 more ideas

Create a To-Do List
  • Sync your to-do list with your mobile phone.
  • Write down the three most important tasks.
  • Keep to an easy and workable task list.
  • Do one thing at a time.

Simplify

Organizing unnecessary items is wasting energy. 

  • Have less stuff.
  • Eliminate outdated articles to read “someday." 
  • Find an appropriate place for everything and make sure it is easily accessible. 
  • Choose one tool and stick with it.
  • Pack tools immediately after use.
Embrace Change

It eliminates methods and ideas that no longer work and promotes the more important things. 

3 more ideas