The Secret to Getting Things Done

The hardest part of getting things done is doing one thing at a time. The second hardest part of getting things done is choosing the right task.

Choose the task:

The best way to choose a task is to set a goal. Use goals to define to-dos.

Goals are accomplishments. The question isn’t, “What do you need to do?” The question is, “What do you need to accomplish?” The goal of exercise is health, for example.

There are two things that make goals useful.

First, decide what matters today by adopting a medium-term perspective. For example, with Friday in mind, what matters on Monday?

The second thing that makes goals useful is a deadline. A goal without a deadline is a dripping faucet that sucks joy out of life.

Move forward with resolve:

Deadlines clarify timelines and accelerate results. But don’t live with constant stress.

Have you ever met a fulfilled leader who ran around with their hair on fire? Hurry is the enemy of excellence and fulfillment. Don’t hurry, but don’t lollygag.

John Wooden said, Be quick, but don’t hurry. This morning was the first time I understood the distinction between being stressed and moving forward with conscious resolve.

Adopt Larry the Cable Guy’s advice, “Get’er done.”

The secret to resolve is a deadline.

Focus on one thing:

When you do two meaningful things at the same time, both lose their satisfaction. For example, it’s dissatisfying to kiss your spouse and think about mowing the grass at the same time.

Thinking about the next thing while doing this thing makes both things irritating.

The secret to focusing on one thing is eliminating distraction.

  1. Establish a do not disturb hour with your team.
  2. Turn off everything that might distract you.
  3. Engage in activities that enhance focus.

What prevents people from getting things done?

What enables productivity?

Bonus material:

Deep Work (Book)

17 Tricks to Get More Things Done During the Workday (Entrepreneur)

6 Ways Productive People Consistently Get Things Done (Inc)