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The secret to mastering your time is to systematically focus on importance and suppress urgency

Don't be available all the time

Time, not money, is your most valuable asset. Invest your asset:

  • Allocate time to each task you need to get done every day. 
  • Each task of the day should be attainable, realistic, and time-bound. And it should advance your goals for the day, week or month.
  • Don't get distracted by everything others expect you to do.

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The secret to mastering your time is to systematically focus on importance and suppress urgency

The secret to mastering your time is to systematically focus on importance and suppress urgency

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-prioritize-between-important-and-urgent-tasks-2017-5

businessinsider.com

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Key Ideas

Oliver Emberton

Oliver Emberton

"The secret to mastering your time is to systematically focus on importance and suppress urgency."

Important vs. urgent tasks

  • Important tasks are things that contribute to your long-term mission, values, and goals.
  • Urgent tasks are tasks that have to be dealt with immediately: phone calls, urgent deadlines, and situations where you have to respond quickly.

Sometimes important tasks stare you right in the face, but you neglect them and respond to urgent but unimportant things.

Don't be available all the time

Time, not money, is your most valuable asset. Invest your asset:

  • Allocate time to each task you need to get done every day. 
  • Each task of the day should be attainable, realistic, and time-bound. And it should advance your goals for the day, week or month.
  • Don't get distracted by everything others expect you to do.

Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey

"You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage pleasantly, smilingly, and non-apologetically — to say  'no' to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger yes burning inside."

Being super connected

Modern technology has evolved to exploit our urgency addiction. You can be distracted simply by hearing or feeling your phone vibrate, even if you don't pick it up.

  • Try putting your phone out of sight (and touch) for uninterrupted productivity.
  • Turn off all your notifications. Choose to check these things when you take breaks.

Don't take on too much

If you get excited and take on too much, you'll be spending your energy all over the place.

Spend most of your time on the right things and the rest takes care of itself. It's not enough to just 'work hard'.

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Make planning a habit

Make planning a habit

Some mornings we feel motivated to create a to-do list, but that is often the exception. We need to get things done, even when we feel disengaged.

Start by setting the alarm for you...

Align your to-do list with goals

  1. Break down your big goals into daily tasks. You can't add "Get in shape" to your daily to-do list, but you can add "spend 30 minutes on my bike."
  2. Consider your week as a whole. You likely have multiple goals. Some goals benefit from daily activity, while working towards others a few times a week can create momentum.
  3. Add your have-to-do tasks last. We often fill our to-do lists with have-to-do tasks that crowd the whole day. Adding it last forces you to fit your have-to-do tasks around your goal tasks.

Have one daily priority

Many of us start our mornings with dozens of things we need to get done, but later realize that we haven't crossed any of them off our lists. We did get stuff done, but none of the things we planned.

A balm against hectic days that pass without progress is to choose a single activity to prioritize and protect in your calendar. If you struggle to select your top priority, ask yourself, when you look back on your day, what do you want the highlight to be? That's your priority.

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Mental States

It’s really important to monitor mental states. They will usually affect whether we do our exercise, eat healthy, binge watch TV shows, drink alcohol, eat junk food, or are open-hearted (or ...

Moving Into a Mental State

  1. Recognize that you’re in the wrong mental state. It’s not likely to lead to a calm focus. It will lead to you doing busywork or seeking distraction.
  2. Experiment to find a set of actions that can help you move into the right mental state. This is going to be different for each person, but with some experimentation, you can discover things that work for you.

Activities For A Better Mental State

  • Meditation
  • Go for a walk
  • Get up and move around
  • Talk to someone (if you’re worried about something)
  • Having a cup of tea
  • Taking a power nap
  • Having a cup of coffee (differs for each person)
  • Getting into a quiet, uncluttered environment
  • Turning off your wifi router
  • Using full-screen writing apps
  • Playing calming music
  • Reading an inspirational quote or article
  • Talking to someone (including a therapist, if needed)
  • Bringing playfulness to the task

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Statistics about multi-tasking

  • Trying to focus on more than one thing at a time reduces your productivity by as much as 40%. That’s the cognitive equivalent of pulling an all-nighter.
  • The average desk job ...

When you single-task...

  • you tend to work on the right things. Effective single-tasking requires planning. Starting your day without a plan is just asking for distraction and inefficiency.
  • you accomplish more in less time with less stress: Intentionally focusing on one task at a time has been proven the most efficient way to move through your to-do list.

4 essential components of effective single-tasking:

  1. Cutting out distractions.
  2. Make a single-tasking plan you’ll actually stick to.
  3. Dealing with unavoidable distractions.
  4. Getting back on track when you’ve fallen off the single-tasking band wagon.

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