“When a culture adopts ‘What’s the next action?’ as a standard operating query, there’s an automatic increase in energy, productivity, clarity, and focus.”
– David Allen, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Every person has just so much time in a day. In fact, every person has exactly the same amount of time in each day.
The difference between those who succeed and those who don’t involves what they do with that time.
So… what do you do with your time?
Who you see, who you talk to, what you fill your mind with, then what you let out of your mouth, or onto the keyboard… call it:
Input and Output
This is what matters.
Here’s what I know. The more you let moments slip by unused, the more you let moments slip by unproductively used, the more you let moments slip by in which you were busy, but busy not doing the “right” task (the task you needed to do, intended to do, at that moment), the more difficult you have made your challenge.
- Working with intense focus on whatever task is in front of you… this really matters.
- Planning well enough to keep the right task in front of you in every given moment… this really matters.
- Finishing the task in front of you… this really matters.
- Getting right to the next task that should be in front of you… this really matters.
- And starting every next task by getting right to the task, right away… this really matters.
One day, I had lunch with a friend in his office. He is a top-notch, scheduled-to-the-minute periodontist. I sat in his office waiting for him, lined up outside were three of his assistants. They each had a file folder open and a question ready. He walked up and said to the first assistant, “Go.” She asked a question, he answered. Then he repeated this process to the 2nd and the 3rd assistants.
I commented on the rapidity of the exchanges. He said, “I tell them good morning at the beginning of the day, good-bye at the end – and the rest of the time, it is task after task. I have surgeries to perform, consultations to give… I do not have a minute to waste.”
Not a minute to waste. Not in what you do. Not in what you think. Not with what you read.
Plan your moments.
Get to the task.
As close as I can tell, this is not optional for the person intent on getting more stuff done.
Professional Speaker & Writer
Co-founder, First Friday Book Synopsis