New York writer and entrepreneur Kevin Kruse about the habit that really ensure productivity.
Do you think Richard Branson and bill gates write a long to-do lists and distribute them according to the importance: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and so on?
Exploring how people manage their time and improve productivity, I interviewed more than 200 billionaires, Olympians, students and entrepreneurs. Every time I asked them to talk about how best to manage time and give advice to improve productivity. None of them never mentioned the to-do list.
The lists have three big drawbacks.
They do not take into account time. When we have a long list of tasks, we tend primarily to take on something that can be done quickly, and tasks that require time to leave for later. Research the company iDoneThis show that 41% of the cases in the lists remain unfinished!
They Express not separated from the important. Subconsciously, people always grabs the urgent and ignoring the important. (For example, you have already signed up for a routine colonoscopy or a mammogram?).
They contribute to stress. In psychology this is known as the Zeigarnik effect: uncompleted tasks breed Intrusive, uncontrollable thoughts. No wonder we are exhausted by day, and at night I can’t sleep.
In reality, the most productive people are not guided by the list of cases they work and live on a schedule.
Shannon Miller won seven Olympic medals in the USA national team in gymnastics in 1992 and 1996. Now she is a successful entrepreneur and author of the book “it’s not about perfection” (It’s Not About Perfect). Here’s what she learned, building a career: “During training I had to have time to pay attention to the family, home, school, Olympic training, performances and other obligations and to adhere to a very strict schedule. I had to prioritize… and I’m on schedule to this day.”
Dave Kerpen is the co – founder of two successful startups and one of the most popular authors of New York Times. Its the secret to productivity is this: “If something is not in my schedule, I would never do that. If the case is made to my schedule – it will be done. I dispense every 15 minutes of every day to hold meetings, to review materials, write and do all the things that I need to do. And although I say anyone who wants to meet me, I bring to the meeting one hour a week.”
Chris Daker – entrepreneur, commercially successful author and host of the podcast The New Business. Here he answers the question about how he manages to cope with multiple roles: “I’m all in your schedule. That’s all. What I did from day to day – everything gets a place in the chart. 30 minutes reading social networks is on schedule, 45 minutes sorting the mail according to schedule. Online meeting with my team on schedule. In short, if I don’t put something in the schedule, it’s just not done.”
If you want to manage your time using the schedule, not a to-do list, you need to know a few key techniques.
Specify the duration of the event in the calendar 15 minutes by default. If you use Google calendar or Outlook, it is likely that when adding the event service will automatically set the duration to 30 or even 60 minutes.
An ultra-productive people do not spend more time than necessary to complete the task. CEO of Yahoo! Marissa Mayer is known for that meets for 5 minutes. When you have the default allotted 15 minutes for each task, the schedule to fit more.
Take special time for the most important things. Don’t let your calendar be filled randomly and don’t accept every random request. First of all, you should clearly define your life and career priorities and to book a time for the respective classes.
You can take two hours each weekday morning to work on the strategic plan that need your boss. But don’t forget to include in the schedule what is necessary for you personally charging in the morning, a date night or other important things.
Make a plan for all. Instead of checking email every five minutes, open it three times a day, but according to plan. Do not write “call sister” in the list, and put this item in the plan. Or, better yet, set a recurring event “to respond to missed calls” every day.
What planned do be done.
How much less you will be tired and get more done if I give up my to-do list and pay attention to the calendar?