A Masterclass in Getting Stuff Done, Straight from the Experts - Ambition & Balance
It’s less about “how” and more about “what”. When you’re focused on unimportant objectives, you feel painfully stuck. It’s like trudging along on a treadmill; sure, you’re running, but you’re not actually getting anywhere. On the contrary, when you’ve had a deeply productive day, you’ll know it.
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Productivity shouldn’t only be the pursuit of self-improvement, but also a mission to improve the lives and the work of people we encounter.
This leaves you to make room on your calendar for discussions that exhilarate you.
When what you spend your time on is congruent with your interests and values, progress feels conveniently close.
Rather than wondering what we need to do next, hour-to-hour or minute-to-minute, planning ahead allows us to save time on indecision and helps us execute on everything we want to get done with greater precision.
Approaching what we need to do with intention makes productivity feel like second nature.
Focusing all the hours in the day squarely on your career is a fast-track to burnout. Neglecting self-care can be a powerful driver in a lack of productivity and a diminished ability to focus
Purposeful work involves activities that are simultaneously engaging and impactful and leads to a complete immersion in work that feels incredibly rewarding.
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If you focus on getting the small stuff done but not the big stuff, or switch between tasks all the time, you’ll be less effective.
Pick one important thing to focus on at a time and learn to evaluate what tasks and projects are of higher value to you.
It's best done by focusing on the smallest first step and practicing just launching into that.
Pick the tiniest first step, and launch into it.
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Although it might feel natural to create your to-do list first thing in the morning, it's too late.
Writing the list at the end of the day allows you to leave work behind and tra...
Ideally, create a ‘top three’ tasks at the beginning of your to-do list.
Long lists are a problem because most people aren’t aware that “we only have about three to six good hours of work in us each day.”
People also tend to underestimate how long a task takes.
Aspirational tasks, like writing a book, don’t belong on a to-do list; instead, create a separate bucket list.
Daily to-do lists should be focused. If you have a big project you want to complete, you can put it on your to-do list if you chunk it out into smaller, more attainable tasks.
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To focus you need to eliminate the distractions, commit to one thing and become great at it.
To know what to focus on, try different things for some time until something comes easily a...
To know what's coming easily to you, what you’re performing well on, pay attention and measure the indicators of success in the chosen activity.
At some point, you won't need more information, you will need to make a choice between sticking with the activity or switching to a new one.
Once you have experimented enough and overcome the need for extra information and fear of committing, it's time to put in a consistent volume of work and persist through the grind.
Only through the grind you will be able to bridge the gap between competent and excellent. Then you can simplify because you know what is essential and what is unnecessary.