4 Tricks to Getting More Things Done
She was obviously right. No one will recommend that getting the wrong things done should be a leading principle.
However, my position was and still is that the sheer ability to get things done is a valuable asset. Learning to qualify and prioritize your opportunities are skills that can be learned and honed as you move forward.
The case is that we often don’t know what will succeed and what will fail until we have done it. Life in the fast lane or life at the leading edge of something requires a lot of testing, and then the sheer capability of getting things done becomes essential.
It is easier domesticating a wild goose than energizing a dead duck.
Failing fast, which is an accepted entrepreneurial principle, cannot be pursued unless you have the ability to get things done. Most action-oriented people learn a few tricks that can help them increase the success rate of their initiatives and activities.
1. Set long-term objective(s).
You cannot climb Mount Everest or win an Olympic gold medal without solid preparation. If you have a long-term goal that you are truly motivated and committed to achieving, then that will help you allocate the time and resources required. You will quickly learn how to break down the path that leads to achieving the objective into smaller projects, and you will learn to measure your progress. You will learn to qualify, prioritize and focus. You will learn to learn, and you will get important things done each and every day. You will learn to work with other people because you cannot make it alone. You will learn to substitute short-term pleasure for long-term gratification, which is one of the most difficult things for human beings to master.
Find yourself one or two long-term objectives that are worth pursuing and get started now.
2. Enjoy (or learn to enjoy) the journey
Objectives requiring activities that you dislike are difficult to achieve. However, it is very unlikely that you can have a target worth pursuing that doesn’t need activities that you do not enjoy – at least at the outset. Interestingly enough such activities are often those at which you are currently not very good. When you dig your teeth into the matter and become better, then you start enjoying it.
Remember, you are not alone.
There are millions of people in the same situation, and some of them have taken the time to write books, articles and record videos on how to overcome the initial resistance. There is hardly anything that you cannot learn about by researching and studying material on the Internet.
Study and keep learning from others.
3. Align your to-do list with your calendar
From my experience and from studying others I have come to realize that unless you align your to-do list with your calendar, then you will overcommit and be left with far too many action items undone. Things take time and if you don’t set aside time in the calendar chances are that you will miss too much. Aka, you need a to-do-list, and a calendar and you must check both several times daily (but not when you are on holiday).
Use tools to manage your time and your activities.
4. Close the door, shut the windows and don’t start your e-mail.
You cannot achieve anything substantial unless you create regular distraction-free interludes. You need time to think and you need time to do the stuff you have planned. Don’t let the world around you dictate your priorities (emergencies exempted). If you use the phone a lot then try to schedule the calls, avoid having to chase people that are unavailable or have incoming calls when you are busy with important activities.
Don’t be a victim of other people’s priorities.