How Do I Get More High Quality Things Done in Less Time?
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About This Episode
In this episode, I answer a listener question which is:
Any productivity tips e.g. how to get more high quality things done in less time?
The next question comes from Curtis @kurteekurt88 on Instagram and he's from London and he asks any productivity tips i.e. how to get more high quality things done in less time? PS, Happy 35th birthday.
Thank you, Curtis, I appreciate it. Okay, first thing here is you need to get a book called The 80/20 Rule by Richard Koch. And that book is about the Pareto principle.
Wilfred parado, was an Italian economist during the Renaissance, I think something like the 15th century. And he basically looked at the wealth and asked, why is it distributed disproportionately, why the 20% of the people have 80% of the wealth. And what he found is that there's an 80.20 rule across everything in your life. 20% of the activities you do generate 80% of the results or the cash 80% of the pain and frustration in your life comes from 20% of the inputs.
So you analyze your time and whatever the thing is, you want to optimize, and you find the 8020 and then you figure out, Okay, what are the good 20% that give me the thing I Want, and you double down on those. And then you look at what is the 80% of stuff I'm doing that's not producing any value. And you eliminate delegate automate, whatever that stuff is.
Now beyond that, okay, here's the things that I do every day to get more high quality things done in less time. Number one, I control my phone. I call the phone, the distraction device. Those notifications will kill you. Those notifications, switch them off, put the phone on silent, take the badges off. A lot of what I'm going to tell you right now is in a blog post on my site freethewagelife.com/make-life-easier. And there's 49 one minute hacks and a lot of them cover this productivity stuff that I'm going to talk about.
So go there and check it out. Especially there's a guide in there about how to take control of your phone so it serves you instead of us serving your phone. We want to avoid the phone distracting us and taking our focus away and instead the phone but Something that we use as a tool.
So number one, I control the phone. And it could be as easy as put it on silent and just flip it facedown or put it in a drawer or in another room. When you do that, you actually find that you have a lot more time than you thought, and you don't feel as rushed. And that creates space to do those high quality things. Second tip is research inbox zero.
And that is the process of deleting or archiving everything in all of your inboxes every single day. So the first thing I do in the morning is I go to my inboxes and I clear everything I delete what's not needed. And I put on my to do list the things that I need to do. I actually store the emails in a folder if I need to come back to them for some of those tasks.
But just knowing the inboxes in zero means I don't start my day with overwhelmed. I start with maybe 50 emails, I probably delete 35 to 40 of them. And then I've got my 10 that I put on my to do list or I do a quick reply to and I do That probably about two to three times a day. Definitely in the morning is the first thing. So I gather all the stuff that came overnight, and I get clear on, you know what I have to do.
And I do it at nighttime, just so the morning burden is a little bit less. But I gather on a schedule at the same time every day. And then I closed those emails and I do not go back to those inboxes I don't have notifications popping up. I don't check those inboxes during the day, I gather in the morning, I prioritize and then I set my day with what I need to get done. And I do not allow the inbox to control my life.
Here's the thing about the inbox. If you're constantly checking your inbox, you are prioritizing everybody else's To Do List over your own. You are prioritizing and making more important their stuff than your stuff. And it's a prime cause where your life can be stuck where it is. So gather it, check it shut it down.
Once you've gathered and you've got everything done, then it is about prioritizing Use the paste strategy that I mentioned earlier in the podcast, procrastinate, automate, concentrate, eliminate delegate. And once I've done that, and I've gathered everything I then look at what are my seven things that I'm going to get done today, just seven any more than they're, they're probably not working on things that are chunky enough or important enough. And of those seven, I choose one, which is my most important task that goes on my calendar.
And I blocked out two or three hours and I do nothing else until that is done is called eating the frog, you get the biggest and baddest goal done first in the day. So by not having distractions, I create the space for that by gathering everything from my inbox. I feel like I'm in control that I've gathered it and it's all on my list.
So I don't have this anxiety by prioritizing. I know I'm working on the thing that I need to most and those seven things, I timebox them on my calendar. So that means in my Google Calendar, I actually block out three hours And then one hour for the task two and then two hours for task three. So it feels my calendar. And time boxing again is in that guide freethewageslave.com/make-life-easier. timeboxing literally changed my life. And it means that I can look back on my calendar a year ago and see exactly how I spent my day. That is also a very useful retrospective tool.
The last thing I tell you Curtis is control your physical space. So we've controlled our digital space, our phone and our inbox we've prioritized and time box to control our time. The last thing is control your environment is just critical. This is going to come down to where you work best. If I'm writing and doing creative projects, then I like to be in a busy Starbucks but with my headphones on and I can just hammer out content.
When I'm actually working. I need to be in my home in silence both audio silence and visual silence I can't have too much going on around me I get distracted. So choose the physical space that really allows you to be creative For you to focus, I hope that helps.
Thanks For Listening!
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