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Do you struggle to get the important things done?

Do you struggle to get the important things done?

Well, yes, it is a struggle, but there are solutions.

In my work with Senior Executives, CEOs and business owners, along with reading and listening to the top performers in the world, there are a number of things they have in common, and today I want to focus on just two that come up time and time again. They are:

  • Avoiding distraction
  • Doing one thing at a time

Sounds so simple doesn’t it? But like all things that are simple – it does not equate to easy!

So, why do these two very simple concepts help to get the important things done?

Let’s take them one at a time, but when you do, you quickly come to realize that they are interconnected, and one supports the other.

Avoid distraction and get the important things done:

The best in class at this do a number of similar things to avoid distraction, and they really do work. I have taken these on board and I can tell you it really helps!

The key actions they take are:

  • Clearly identifying their space for working. I mean their own individual workspace. Not where they have meetings – either internal or external but the space they occupy when they are doing work by themselves.
  • Make this space clutter free. Only have on your desk and in your eye line the material that you need for the task at hand. If you have a pile of papers on your desk, you will pick things up for a “quick look” Put everything else away and out of sight.
  • Do not have an open door policy. Contrary to the opinion of many business gurus, having an open door policy is a recipe for continuous distraction. You simply cannot be available for everyone else’s agenda, and get your own work done.
  • Schedule time to work on your own. If you do not do this, you will only do the important work you have to do between meetings – a recipe for disaster! So, schedule your time to have to yourself where you can fully concentrate on the task at hand
  • Switch everything else off. Do not have your  mobile on or have your email, calendar, or any other such programs on that ping when a new message, or appointment comes in. Once you hear that ping you feel you have to have a quick look – and then you are gone!

Doing one thing at a time helps to get the important things done:

Despite all the hype about “multi tasking” those that are brilliant at getting the important things done will thrash the concept of multi tasking.

Multi tasking clutters the mind, and the consequence is poor output.

Decide on the task in hand – and give that your 100% focus until you have completed it, or at least have completed the time you have allocated to it.

Just like when we were talking about avoiding distraction, switch off your emails, mobile phones and anything else and dedicate the time to that one task.

Truthfully only doing this will help you get the important things done so much more efficiently.

From today, just take these 2 tips on board and it will help you get the important things done time after time.

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3 Responses to Do you struggle to get the important things done?

  1. tara November 15, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    I read Tim ferris 4 hour week, same principles as above. I now check emails twice a day and have an auto responded to let people know. It was a hard habit to break, but has freed me up no end. Tara @ busy lizzie

  2. John Murphy November 15, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    Tara, great to follow this approach. Is it amazing how you can train others to your new behaviors. Well done, Tara

  3. Ron Immink November 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    I am a Tim Ferris fan too. Never followed his advice though. Have you read “Rework”?

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