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Marcin, Tim and George's experimentations with personal work prioritisation
"If you don't prioritise, everything seems urgent and important. If you define the single most important task for each day, almost nothing seems urgent or important.
Oftentimes, it's just a matter of letting little bad things happen (return a phone call late and apologise, pay a small late fee, lose an unreasonable customer, etc.) to get the big important things done.
The answer to overwhelm is not spinning more plates-or doing more-it's defining the few things that can really fundamentally change your business and life."
"You can't do everything, but you can do one thing, and then another and another. In terms of energy, it's better to make a wrong choice than none at all. You might begin by listing your priorities—for the day, for the week, for the month, for a lifetime. Start modestly. List everything you want to do today or tomorrow. Set priorities by dividing the items into A, B, and C categories. At the least, accomplish the A items. Try the same thing with long-term goals. Priorities do shift, and you can change them at any time, but simply getting them down in black and white adds clarity to your life, and clarity creates energy."
My approach is the combination of two (and some more):
Make my bed first thing in the morning to have a sense of accomplishment (I never let this one slide).
List things for today to accomplish:
Set the most important thing (singular) for today (paradoxically, I write "0" next to it).
Divide the rest into A (finish today), B (nice to finish), C (can skip) groups to them.
I also indicated which tasks would take 5 min or less. I reserved a chunk of time and was able to close a bunch of them.
Not all unfinished things from the last day I copy to the next. Some I just let go (most often Cs).
I focus on ending my day being satisfied instead of maximising throughput. This way, I have motivation for the next day instead of starting with a feeling of being overwhelmed. The sustainability of the approach is vital here.
keeping my phone in another room for my focus sessions
noise cancelling headphones with Endel on them
being your butler (see 'Let's behave' podcast #4 at 28:17) - for preparing beforehand for the day to a better start
ritualising some of your actions
good quality coffee
PS. I started doing the same as 3a for travel last year or two. When travelling, I have one thing I want to do on a particular day / week / trip, which lets me worry less about the agenda or something I might miss making my travel less hectic.
PS2. The word 'priority' was introduced to English in the 1400s, whereas the plural version 'priorities' was brought in the 1900s. Let that sink in.
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