When I first read this quote from Greg McKeown’s book “Essentialism”, I got mad.
I got mad about myself.
I got frustrated because I knew I don’t defend my time as strongly as I should.
Here are 3 tips that have helped me achieve what’s really important to me:
1. Learn to say “No”!
You may have heard about the 5/25 rule from Warren Buffet that sprung from a conversation between him and his personal pilot, Mike Flint.
As they talked about his pilot’s professional development, Buffett asked Flint to write a list of his 25 priorities. In the next step, he asked him to mark the five most important ones.
Now he had two lists: the A-list with the top 5 goals and the B list with the 20 other goals. Buffet asked Flint how he wanted to deal with the B-list. He replied that he would invest a little time in everything.
“No. You got it wrong!” Buffett said, “Everything you didn’t circle became your avoid-all-costs list.”
2. Learn to say “Yes”!
Here is a quote from the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown. What at first seems contradictory to the first tip turns out to be a positive framing of the same message:
Essentialists see trade-offs as an inherent part of life, not as an inherently negative part of life. Instead of asking, “What do I have to give up?” they ask, “What do I want to go big on?“
3. Block your calendar!
The only method that really works, for me, to make sure I get something important done on time is this: I sit down in front of my calendar and intentionally block off time slots where I want to get the task done.
Now that sounds obvious. But when was the last time you actually did it?
When have you deliberately scheduled a task that didn’t have a calendar entry anyway and followed through as if it were a date with another person? Well, it’s a date! With your most important goal.
Say “No” to your goals that only seem important. Consciously say “yes” to the few ones that are truly critical. Then ask them out on a date! You better not ditch them. Who knows if they’ll show up again!