With a long, overwhelming list of to-do items, it becomes more tempting to tackle the small, easy things in order to make visible progress.
There’s nothing wrong with keeping a to-do list, but we need to make sure that the joy of erasing things from our to-do list is not shifting the way we spend our time.
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Instead of immediately focusing on email, meetings, and other activities, we would be better off spending the morning doing productive work that requires a higher cognitive capacity (thinking, planning, calculating, for example), and delaying the tasks that don’t require as much mental energy to the hours when our capacity is diminished.
Unlike small, unimportant tasks, the challenge with our most important tasks is that our efforts aren’t immediately rewarded with visible progress.
The key to success here is to break down the big rocks into smaller milestones so that you can feel a sense of progress.
We engage in tasks that give us the sense we’re achieving something when in fact we’re not.
If you feel the need to get those small things done, get to them only after you have made real progress on an important task first.
... is a common excuse we tell ourselves to avoid difficult tasks.
Set aside time, jump in and get done what you can. The best step we can take is to simply make a plan and start.
Our most important tasks often don’t find their ways to our calendar.
Our calendars show us mostly meetings, and the time needed for important stuff is usually the empty space between meetings. But when we see the empty time, we think that we have extra time and we add more meetings.
Multitasking and directing your energy to unimportant tasks and activities will overwhelm and prevent you from being productive.
Focus on your 3 to 5 most urgent tasks on your to-do-list. Focus on one task at a time.
At least one of your Most Important Tasks should be related to your goals.
It is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don't do something about it.
It is also the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life and results at the moment.
Managing our time is not enough, and it’s increasingly important to manage our attention and be intentional about how we respond to all the distractions.
We may be victims of the neverending distractions around us. It’s almost like a deep conspiracy of the entire world around us, where our teammates, friends, family, current events, social media are all out to get our attention at any cost.
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