5 Ways To Get Important Things Done

Tony Schwartz of the Harvard Business Review wrote a pretty good article on how to organize your day and get things done. To summarize you need to:

  1. Try to get 8 hours of sleep at night. If travel or other plans get in the way and aren’t avoidable adjust and fit missing hours of sleep where you can.
  2. Workout as soon as you wake up. This will have a huge impact on the rest of your day. Workout even if you’re not up to it.
  3. Focus on the most important jobs of the day. Take a break after 90 minutes to regroup, even if it’s just a 5 minute break.
  4. Write down ideas and tasks as soon as they occur, that way you’re mind doesn’t obsess over them and you don’t accidentally forget them.
  5. Whenever you feel out of your element because of an unwanted scenario try to put a positive and empowering spin on it.

It’s funny how this makes all the sense in the world and yet you still find ways to not follow through on these plans.  I definitely go out of my way to get 8 hours of sleep every night though sometimes I go to bed later than I should, which ruins the following day when I wake up late. When I wake up late I try to catch up on the stuff that I need to get done throughout the day and then put exercise on the back-burner. While I’m running around to get things done I may have had instances where I think of an idea or something that I should do but because I’m in a rush I don’t always jot them down. When that happens I tend to forget a lot of those ideas that were never jotted on a piece of paper or my iPhone. This of course leads to a day of disarray.

Some days are definitely more productive than others. Going out for social gatherings can definitely be a hindrance on consistency. But like Tony Schwarz says in his article, “I’m human and fallible.” I do plan on finally getting this system implemented. I definitely want to set up a ritual where I exercise regularly.


8 thoughts on “5 Ways To Get Important Things Done

  1. Hope you don’t mind that my nosy butt dropped by to check out your blog.

    I really like it AND it’s not at all what I was expecting it to be.

    I had to click the link and check out the original article – and realize that I do everything ass backwards in my day, which means I’m going to have to try it the right way and see what happens. (The experimental scientist in my head is jumping for joy, ready to take notes. LoL)

    BTW, since you’re implementing this plan into your life, you should blog about how it goes. Or do a podcast. (I was recommended to listen to that, but haven’t yet, so I don’t know what the topics are … but hey, just throwing out suggestions.)

    • I will definitely talk about it a little in my podcast. If anything, I also write pretty detailed shownotes on the topics that are discussed in each episode so you can skim them over before deciding to spend an hour listening to my co-hosts and I banter on subjects that you may not care for. As you already know from my blog entries over at NOFGAGPP, I do have a passion for good TV programming so there are a few episodes where I speak about television ad nauseaum. Like I said, the show notes (and most show titles) will definitely hint at what episodes you may find more interesting than others. Hope you enjoy some of them 😀

  2. I begrudgingly agree with this simple take on things!

    I say “begrudgingly” because the article you cited has been done several times. Darn copycats.. In addition, you know me and the disdain I developed working in the business world: I find “suits” pretentious, stuffy, preachy.. Full of hot air.

    The article makes great points but I like Dino Dogan’s take on regimenting yourself. Routines and Rituals have their place but they’re not “the only way”. It’s interesting that these types of articles seem to come out in bunches. I’ve been reading several of them this week alone.

    Anywho, starting the day off with exercise and getting straight to work makes sense. That approach allows you to build momentum and circumvent distractions. It makes good “business sense”. 8)

    • I agree.. It’s all common sense logic. I’ve always heard physical trainers, atheletes, people by the water cooler, you name it, they’ve all said these things over and over again. Which is why I brought it up. Like that old saying nothing is ever new or whatever. Even Shakespeare, “the greatest writer of the english writer” didn’t write anything new or original. Just recycled old tales and made them his own.

      But I digress. Regardless of how common sensical this advice is I still forget to do these things. Part of the human process I guess. And like a good book happens to cross your lap at just the right moment, sometimes good advice (no matter how common or cliche), does the same.

  3. I’d like to give Mr. Schwartz props for his CYA. Stating that he is infallible, although obvious because we ARE human, made me more receptive to what was otherwise regurgitated crapola. I use task lists and priorities but he does sell you on the concept of rituals. These self-help types all say the same thing but in a slightly different way. We’ll call it “positioning”, though really it’s more like spin.. Darn, I do that too sometimes. I hate myself now.. I am THAT guy. =oP


    Anyone else giggle at NOFGAGPP? Did I do that on purpose when I went with that title on Squidoo and then the WordPress eZine/blog? The world may never know…

  4. Pingback: Exercising Is A Form Of Masochism « JULIO FROM NY

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