The more I've read about the habits of inanely productive people (mostly writers), the more convinced I've become that routine making maketh the man.
So this list of ways to prioritise, eliminate and optimise your tasks seems like gold to me:
- Make a “to don’t” list. Another gem from the inimitable Tom Peters. Prepare a list that contains all the things you shouldn’t waste your time on – useless tasks, unnecessary meetings, worthless phone calls, and so on. Then place it next to your “to do” list – and stick to it. (More here.)
- Carry a notebook and pen. Thomas Edison did it. Virginia Woolf did it. And so did Charles Darwin. They toted a notebook with them everywhere and wrote down ideas that popped into their heads… Page through the notebook occasionally. Trust me: This is a fantastic way to spark ideas and to weave creativity into the fabric of your life. (More here and here.)
- Hone your elevator speech. Be able to explain who you are, what you do, and why someone could benefit from your unique talents – in 30 seconds. Then cut your pitch to 15 seconds. Practice it. Sharpen it… Caveat: An elevator speech shouldn’tsound like an elevator speech. It’s really an exercise in being honest, concise, and interesting.
- Establish an opening ritual. Try to begin your day the same way. If you work at home, maybe take a short walk before you go to your office. Have a cup of tea or read or meditate before starting your work. An opening ritual will ease your mind, body and soul into the day. (More here.)
- Establish a closing ritual. Know when to stop working. Try to end each work day the same way, too. Straighten up your desk. Back up your computer. Make a list of what you need to do tomorrow. (More here.)
Head to Eric Barker's blog for the full list, which quotes liberally from Daniel Pink's Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself.
Posted to life in 2014.