When it comes to getting things done, I have the same pressures on my time as everyone else.
Children to organise, my own business and the challenge of preparing myself for the Great North Run last weekend. So why do I push myself to the limit and what is that limit?
First of all, I’ve decided that each one of us has the same 24 hours in the day and try as I have I can’t squeeze 25 hours out it. What I can do is determine my priorities.
In his book, Deep Work – rules for focused success in a distracted world, Cal Newport suggests that too much time is being busy doing shallow work (work that serves no real contribution to what we want to achieve).
By this he means, stupid amounts of time checking Facebook and other social media during the day. A desire to read and respond to the constant stream of emails arriving in the inbox (other people’s priorities).
I recommend the book or the Audible version which I have been listening to at 1.5 speed. See, I knew I could squeeze 90 minutes out of an hour – lol. He provides really helpful insights into how to work deep to get things done.
Secondly, I determined what I wanted to achieve and then narrowed it down to intense focus. To do this as Cal suggests, I needed to appreciate that only 20% of possible time spent on a project would really make a difference and I set about determining what that 20% was. We are easily distracted in each working day and naturally drift to doing stuff that is time-consuming and enjoyable rather than the activity that really makes a difference.
Finally, I set up a daily routine and stuck to it, until it became a habit. That was the most challenging part. Other habits pull us away, like a magnet, from the changes we need to make in organising our day.
“For things to change, we must change”. Jim Rohn
If your habits and your focus are not serving you in getting you to where you want to be, you must do something differently.