Setting Goals 1. Decide exactly what you want 2. Write it down 3. Set a deadline on your goal (and subd**spoiler alert** These are my notes and summary:
Setting Goals 1. Decide exactly what you want 2. Write it down 3. Set a deadline on your goal (and subdeadlines) 4. Make a list of everything that you can think of that you are going to have to do to achieve your goal. 5. Organize the list into a plan. 6. Take action on your plan immediately. 7. Resolve to do something every single day that moves you towards your major goal.
Goal activity: Take a clean sheet of paper and make a list of ten goals you want accomplish in the next year. Write them as if they are already a reality. Review your goals and select the one goal that would have the greatest positive impact on your life. Then follow the complete exercise for implementing a goal on that particular one.
The title of the book refers to those tasks which seem especially undesirable or those that hold you back. The author argues that we should always tackle those tasks first
Some general tips: 1. Think on paper. 2. One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not be done at all. 3. Follow the 80/20 rule in terms of tasks. 20% of your tasks provide 80% of your productivity 4. Resist the temptation to clear up small things first. 5. There will never be enough time to do everything you have to do – start choosing which things are your most important responsibilities. 6. What one skill, if I developed and did it well, would have the greatest positive impact on my career? 7. Create an environment that predisposes you to work on the task at hand. 8. Refuse to be a slave to technology (e.g., e-mail). 8. Build up a sense of momentum in your work; this will help you tackle the biggest frog on even the worst day.
Three questions for maximum productivity: 1. What are my highest value activities? 2. What can I and only I do that if done well will make a real difference? 3. What is the most valuable use of my time right now?
Practice detecting important tasks: make a list of all tasks that need to be completed, choose the 1 thing that would contribute the greatest value if you could only do one thing all day. Then choose the 2nd, then choose the 3rd. You must keep cutting your list of duties (delegating, etc.) until you are spending nearly all of your time on these 3 things. Do this same exercise for most important family goals, health goals, etc....more
**spoiler alert** My summary and notes from the book: Book about how important it is to manage energy levels instead of time. One of their principles**spoiler alert** My summary and notes from the book: Book about how important it is to manage energy levels instead of time. One of their principles is to develop highly specific positive energy rituals that help sustain full engagement. The steps you have to take to build a habit are to 1. define purpose, 2. face the truth, and 3. take action
One of the guiding principles behind the book is that rest and recuperation must be built into training/work. Specifically, most people have a problem with either overtraining or undertraining in relation to their level of rest. The analogy is to live life like it is a series of sprints rather than a marathon (and train accordingly). A major part of this training regimen is to expending energy beyond our regular capacity and then recovering (short-term discomfort for long-term reward).
As with many similar books, they describe the 4 levels or areas in which we must oscillate our energy use and recovery: physical, emotional mental, and spiritual. They also argue that it is important to subject ourselves to build ourselves up in each of these areas just like we build up muscles. We must expose ourselves to stress beyond our normal limits and then recuperate in order to improve in our ability to cope.
For physical energy, they advise healthy eating, high levels of breathing, and 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. They also suggest 5 to 6 highly nutritious meals a day with lots of water. Energy breaks to recover every 90 to 120 minutes are important for productive and energetic days. Lastly, interval training (where you push yourself and then break quickly) are more effective than steady-state training (where you keep the same pace for long periods of time).
For emotional energy, they suggest learning to fuel our positive emotions with self confidence, self-control, interpersonal effectiveness, and empathy. Summoning positive emotions during periods of intense stress is at the heart of effective leadership. Again, they suggest pushing ourselves in these domains and then spending sufficient time recovering doing activities that allow us to relax and recuperate.
For mental energy, they suggest training mental muscles through mental preparation, visualization, positive self talk, effective time management and creativity. Taking mental breaks during the day from tough tasks is just as important as taking physical breaks. Extending work periods causes mental stagnation and breakdown rather than "powering through" slow periods.
Spiritual energy is less precisely covered, but the basic idea is to incorporate and attach deeply held values and beliefs to daily tasks (beyond our self interest). Expanding spiritual capacity involves pushing past our comfort zone in the same way that expanding physical capacity does.
One of the most important techniques they discuss for building up energy levels is through the development of habits and rituals. These allow us to free up important resources for self control and goal attention by allowing us to center ourselves when our energy gets depleted or we get stressed. Habits don't require resources, so we can use them to build us up on a regular basis. A simple ritual that connects us to our purpose (professional, personal, etc.) each day allows us to see the forest instead of just the trees from day to day. (e.g., quiet reading time in the morning, book of Proverbs, journaling, praying, meditation, reading over personal mission statement, etc.).
Our intentions should be framed as "doing" statements instead of "not doing" statements. We should also work in incremental changes since it is difficult to change entrenched behaviors quickly. "Charting the course" every day helps us map our vision and reminds us to build the components of our day around maintaining that vision. Charting our progress is part of this vision that builds us up and helps us to stay motivated over the long run. ...more