Getting the Important Stuff Done

“Doing work that matters is much harder than doing work that doesn’t.” – Peter Bregman, author of “18 Minutes.”18minutes

The important work that we say that we want to do is often hard. It’s so much easier to fritter away time on things that don’t matter like Facebook, Pinterest, or Farmville. These easy distractions give us an immediate pay-off which is hard to resist. The long-term pay-off of pursuing our goals is much more valuable, but also much farther away.

The Quadrant II activities in Stephen R Covey’s Time Management Matrix include things like planning, clarifying values, and relationship building. These are the activities we should spend more time on, but that often fall by the wayside, pushed aside by more trivial matters. Take these steps to overcome the pitfalls and get important stuff done.

10 Tactics for accomplishing important work:

Don’t overlook your goals when choosing your Most Important Tasks (MITs) for the day

Important tasks can be routine work, like the report that is due today and the car that needs an oil change. We know that QII activities are also important, but without a deadline they can often be easily postponed. They may never happen if you wait to do them until you have free time.

Tackle important work at the best time

It’s best to work on tasks that require thought and creativity when you have the most energy, usually in the morning. Don’t waste your most productive time.

Remember the benefits

Consider the consequences if it is not done, and the benefits of accomplishing it.

Make it easy

In his book and TED Talk, Peter Bregman uses an example to illustrate this. His family thought they would eat outdoors at a table, but found they never used it…until they moved it a little closer to their door. Make good habits easy, and bad habits hard.

KISS-Keep It Super Simple

Maybe you don’t need a complicated plan. Maybe you only need to know the first step. Some projects may be complex, but keep them as simple as possible. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be.

Break it down

Big tasks can seem overwhelming unless they are broken down into smaller action steps.

Take one small step

Get started by telling yourself you will do just one small step. Often once inertia is overcome, it’s easy to keep the momentum going.

Get focused

Do an annual review to choose goals and areas of focus. The Energy Level Gauge is a simple tool that makes it easy to see which areas of your life need more attention.

Remind Yourself

Keep it visual, and keep it on your radar. Peter Bregman’s 18 minutes: 5 minutes in the morning to plan, 5 minutes in the evening to review, and a timer set hourly during the day to re-focus.

Schedule it

Assign a date and time in your calendar. In 18 Minutes, Peter Bregman describes studies from the book “The Power of Full Engagement” by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz which reveal that deciding when and where we will do something makes it 80-100% more likely to be done.

Want to learn more? Read 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman, and watch his TED Talk, The Work Buffet.

More resources to: Learn about Productivity

I enjoy finding great information, combining it in new ways, and packaging it creatively. I'm highly interested in the areas of goal setting, time management, and skills to improve life.

Posted in Books, goals, productivity
7 comments on “Getting the Important Stuff Done
  1. […] after 25 minutes, the 90/20 rule advocated by Tony Schwartz is based on Ultradian rhythms, or Peter Bregman’s 18 minutes with a minute each hour during the […]

  2. […] Important tasks can be routine things, like a report that is due today. But important tasks are also work that matters to you, like action steps toward your goals. Keep the important on your radar so that it doesn’t get lost in all the other things that compete for attention. See more about Getting the Important Stuff Done. […]

  3. […] Putting the things we need to do on a regular basis on autopilot allows us to focus on more important matters. Studies have revealed statistics about the effects of interruptions and multi-tasking, the best […]

  4. […] Bregman’s 18 Minutes: set timer for hourly reminder to stretch, breathe, and […]

  5. […] It can be a lot more enjoyable to spend time learning about productivity than to actually act on the information. Keep in mind the ratio of time spent studying vs. the number of ideas you find that will work for you. Try to set a limit on the amount of time on these activities and focus on getting the important stuff done. […]

  6. […] to reflect in your character, the values you want to express as part of your life, the goals and important work that you want to accomplish. Maybe you want to focus on Stephen R Covey’s Quadrant II of the […]

  7. […] 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman – Getting the Important Stuff Done […]

Comments are closed.

eBooks

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Receive your free copy of 25 Quotes & Affirmations to Finally Defeat Procrastination (plus 10 more to Overcome Fear)

Flipboard Review
Blog Stats
  • 452,428 hits
Archives
Del.icio.us
%d bloggers like this: