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Success Means Doing Less

This is a view I subscribe to unequivocally… to succeed in most instances, you must do less. Focus on the thing you aim to create and that’s it. Focus hard.

Whatever you do, don’t focus on fixing. Focus on creating. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to fix anything – it just means you focus your energy on what you are creating. Tim has some terrific tips on how to get this done, giving a big hat tip to the brilliant Zen Habits blog.

Here are Tim’s 12 tips with some of my annotations:

12 Key Habits to Start With
  1. Set your 3 MITs (Most Important Tasks) each morning. I write mine on a yellow index card and carry it with me at all times.
  2. Single-task. When you work on a task, don’t switch to other tasks. Multitasking is a result of defocusing. If you think you can do two things at once effectively, you can’t.
  3. Process your inbox to empty. This is key – don’t leave anything in it. Touch them once – then archive, convert to task requiring more time, delegate, complete…
  4. Check email just twice a day. And let everyone know it.
  5. Exercise 5-10 minutes a day.
  6. Work while disconnected, with no distractions. Close Outlook. Turn-off the notifier. Focus.
  7. Follow a morning routine.
  8. Eat more fruits and veggies every day. [Tim: Here is the “slow-carb” breakfast I use to start my morning routine]
  9. Keep your desk decluttered.
  10. Say no to commitments and requests that aren’t on your Short List.
  11. Declutter your house for 15 minutes a day.
  12. Stick to a 5-sentence limit for emails.

If you want to change something, pick one habit to change… Tim suggests no more than one habit a month. This is also supported by research done by BJ Fogg of Stanford University. Want to teach 60-year olds to use an SMS program to help them quit smoking? It won’t work. Those are two new behaviors. Choose one behavioral modification at a time.

3 Responses

  1. By Mike DiPetrillo on January 12th, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Couldn’t agree more with this list. I especially am a big believer in checking email twice a day and putting everything into a list for the day.

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