Nah, this isn’t one of those corny posts where I rattle off a list of accomplishments. Earlier in the year I read The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris and it instantly became my favorite business book ever…not because I agree with everything in it, but because it forces you to ask some very thought provoking questions about work and life.
One little section in particular had a profound impact on my productivity:
Don’t ever arrive at the office or in front of your computer without a clear list of priorities. You’ll just read unassociated email and scramble your brain for the day. Compile your to-do list for tomorrow no later than this evening. I don’t recommend using Outlook or computerized to-do lists because it is possible to add an infinite number of items. I use a standard piece of paper folded three times to about 2″ x 3.5″, which fits perfectly in the pocket and limits you to noting only a few items.
I thought about my complex life of Outlook tasks and iPrioritize to-do lists and decided I was causing paralysis by analysis by over planning and becoming overwhelmed by what needs to be done. So I started my new index card method. Each night I list out the goals for the following day on an index card that I carry with me all day long. I limit goals to only a handful of important work-related goals, and if I accomplish them I know I had a great day.
Maybe more importantly, if I ever question what I accomplished over a particular period I can just pull out my index cards and within seconds I’ll realize that I really did achieve a lot with my time.
Happy New Years to everyone! THANK YOU for taking the time to read this blog, and I wish you, your family, and your business a safe and prosperous 2008!