Evaluate that to-do list carefully. What tasks could someone else do, thereby freeing you up to focus on the things only you can do?
An important key to productivity is doing only those things that only you can do, and giving somebody else the opportunity to contribute by doing those other tasks.
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Uncompleted commitments take up psychic energy, each one making you just the tiniest bit more tired, more distracted, and therefore less productive.
The first step to managing your life and time is getting every commitment, large and small, out of your head and into a trusted system.
Before leaving your workspace, or before going to bed, take 10 minutes to look over the next day’s commitments.
Decide what you’ll do first. Look at that to-do list and decide whether any tasks on it can be delegated to someone else or crossed off the list altogether.
Every one of us has one or more tasks on our to-do list that we dread doing.
Do it first thing. Writer Michael Hyatt talks about slaying your dragons before breakfast—there’s nothing more motivating for the rest of your day than crossing that monster off your list first thing in the morning.
One of the major productivity killers is the distraction of constant interruptions: emails, phone calls, people appearing at your door…
Schedule a block of time to focus on that commitment, turn off all outside communications and give yourself the necessary luxury of undisturbed time to really focus on the matter at hand.
There’s a limit to how long anybody can devote deep focus to a task.
After a certain amount of time, the law of diminishing returns kicks in, and fatigue—physical and/or mental—starts to impair your effectiveness.
Schedule breaks periodically even during the busiest days.
If the demands of your day include routine tasks, try to group similar tasks and schedule certain times during the day to knock them out.
By batching similar tasks, you save the time lost to ramping up multiple times a day and reap the benefits of momentum.
There are countless studies confirming the importance of breakfast for maintaining our health.
Healthy people are more productive. No matter how busy you are, eat a decent breakfast. It’ll fuel you for a terrific start to your day.
Exercise makes you healthier, so be sure to get some exercise every day.
You don’t need to spend hours at the gym to get the benefit of this; take a walk around the block, or do some isometrics at your desk.
When someone calls or appears at your door with a request for your participation in some activity, take a breath and consider whether it fits into your own priorities
If the answer is no, then just say no. Practice it ahead of time: “Thank you for inviting me, but no.” “Thank you for thinking of me, but no.”
When you can’t accept them, you can’t deal with them. You deny yourself the opportunity to resolve those feelings permanently and feel free.
Decisions and choices that you make throughout the day tend to drain your willpower. You're less likely to make a good decision at the end of the day than you are at the beginning.
If you do the most important thing first, then you’ll never have a day when you didn’t get something important done.