91 STASHED IDEAS
Your to-do list may be stuffed with half-baked ideas, empty projects, and tasks you forgot to check off. Make a complete inventory of all the tasks and projects on your to-do list. Then see what you can delete. The purpose is to cut away the nonessential to make space for what's important to you now.
As you do your inventory, ask yourself:
Now that you have the right tasks, it's time to sort and organize. Every task on your to-do list should be related to your goal.
"To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose."
Once your task list is clear and aligned with your goals, take steps to keep it clear.
Your to-do list should be an extension of your mind. It's a way of storing away tomorrow's work so that you can focus on what you have to do today.
However, if we don't regularly tidy up our list, it can get cluttered. Instead of a reliable to-do list, it can become a cumbersome task in itself that cease to fulfil the function it was designed for. Learning from Marie Kondo, we can declutter our task list in a similar way she tidies physical belongings.
We can't know what is worth doing if we don't know where we are going.
Micro-breaks are quick impromptu breaks that workers take in order to keep our energy levels steady in order to get through the day.
The Journal of Applied Psychology and a research from North Carolina State Univeristy showed that workers who take micro-breaks actually lead to higher work engagement.
Employees who are fatigued but take micro-breaks frequently helped maintain their energy levels when taken at the right time.
We all have good intentions about getting work done, but we rarely stick to them. Instead, we allow distractions to use up our time until there is nothing left.
We need to choose what is worth paying attention to. A system of focus will help you to keep track of deep work. Knowing where your time goes is an essential first step to taking control.
We may intend to get more deep work done, but doing the work week after week is another thing.
The system to perform your best work is simply to continuously track your deep work hours. Keeping this record can be an eye-opener to how you spend your time. You may find that only a quarter of your available working hours are spent on deep tasks.
It's easy to fall into the habit of doing something repeatedly without clarifying what the steps are. Explaining how to do things ensures tasks are done properly, and that no one has to spend time constantly re-teaching how to do something. Once the system is defined, it's possible to start automating and delegating it.
Before you consider automating or delegating a system you've defined, go through each step and see if it can be removed, combined with another step, or if you can create some new step that removes a handful of others.
The best way to extend our work beyond ourselves and take advantage of personal leverage is to go through the Personal Leverage Loop: define, refine, automate, and delegate.
Financial leverage involves using other people's money to improve everyone's returns. The very rich had the confidence to take on some leverage to increase their upside if they succeeded.
We all have access to another form of leverage which can be the difference between increasing your salary by 10% per year and doubling it every year. It's called Personal Leverage and is a measure of your ability to extend your productivity beyond yourself.
Some use their time to accomplish an impossible amount of work, while others waste their time repeating the same few tasks, perhaps gaining 10% improvements each year.
Even if you believe you're in the first camp of making heroic progress, if you're focused on finding the right productivity app, you're in the second.
To feel motivated, you first need to act, then motivation will follow.
Look at your time well-spent activities and fit them into your day. In other words, think how and when your most meaningful tasks will fit into a real day. Understanding how to use your limited supply of time on what truly matters will help you cut out time-wasters that add to your time anxiety.
Time anxiety is the feeling that you have not done enough to meet your goals or that you're not using the time you do have effectively.
Time anxiety is more than feeling overwhelmed at times - it haunts your days and causes you to procrastinate on essential tasks.
Ask yourself what a good day looks like at work and home.
Trying to maximize every day will lead to more time anxiety. Instead, use your time well-spent activities and decide on what fits your time best now**.**
Truths about time:
Time anxiety increases when we try to ignore or manipulate the ways time impacts our day. Acknowledging these truths can reduce anxiety and help you move forward.
Time anxiety shows up as:
Overcoming time anxiety boils down to awareness, understanding, and action.
Being aware of what you spend your time on can lessen your anxiety. But too much observation over every aspect of your life can add to your time anxiety. It's about finding a balance between awareness and action.
The irony is the more we focus on the limited time we do have, the more restricted our time feels.
Time had little impact on us as children. We used to spend our days with mostly unstructured games and learning. As we became teenagers, time started to gain importance. As adults, time becomes an essential and scarce resource that we have to attempt to control.
We often think 8 hours of work time means we can schedule all 8 hours. However, most people have at best 2.5 hours of real productive time a day.
At work, most people spend:
This breakdown can help you understand the limitations you have to work within. The goal is to be realistic about what you can do with the time you do have.