To How Crush That To Do List

"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!" -Benjamin Franklin One of the biggest pitfalls that we're all prone to fall into if we're not careful is rationalizing with ourselves that things on our to do list don't actually need to be done. For example, it can be tempting to think, "Why do I need to write down a to do list or a shopping list? I'll just remember it in my head!" However, there is quite a bit of empirical evidence indicating that people are substantially more likely to follow through on a task if they write it down. In "The Paradox of Choice" by Barry Schwarz, he describes how it is more difficult for people to make sound decision when they are bombarded with a plethora o

How I Decide The Most Important Thing In Any Given Day

On days when I have a clear deadline or urgent task, figuring out the most important task is easy. On other days when I have several things I need to do without a hard deadline, this can become a grey area. However, I've found a simple way to figure this out, borrowed from Tim Ferris. It essentially boils down to the formula: "most important usually=most uncomfortable/most procrastinated upon" with some chance of rejection or conflict. According to Tim Ferris, the key is to ask oneself, "What's uncomfortable here? What have I procrastinated on for quite a while?" The key is to ensure that this task will substantially move the needle forward towards a successful outcome by asking these additi

Why Life Hacking Isn't Just For Businesspeople

"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." -Stephen Covey I have to confess something: I sometimes feel frustrated by the lack of crossover between concepts of maximizing one's time and life hacking and creative living. For example, I was once on tour with an actor who was deeply offended by the Mark Zuckerberg/Steve Jobs approach to fashion of wearing the same thing every day. While I don't think this approach to fashion makes sense for most artists, I do believe that decision fatigue can deplete energy that could otherwise go towards valuable creative endeavors. Behavioral economists have talked at length about "ego-depletion," meaning that humans have a finite amount of de

Why All Creatives Should Use the Ivy Lee Method

First, for context, the "Ivy Lee" method involves the following: 1) Write down 3-5 things you plan to get done the next day 2) Rank them from highest to lowest priority 3) In the morning, start working on the task of highest priority 4) Only move on to task #2 when you've completed #1 5) Repeat One of the things that makes this method unique is that Ivy Lee emphasized the importance of doing tasks in order of priority and resisting the urge to go to the next task before completing the previous one. If you don't complete the list of tasks, no worries. If you get three or four of the tasks done, that is still a successful day! The main thing is to focus on getting the highest priority done. Wh

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