Take Back Your Life in Seven Simple Steps – Tony Schwartz – Harvard Business Review

(c) Brian Auer

Take Back Your Life in Seven Simple Steps – Tony Schwartz – Harvard Business Review.

Another great post from a blogger that I admire – he probably got me started on reading business blogs in fact.

Some simple but useful ideas to become more productive.

1. Start to focus on what you’re doing with your attention. He suggests keeping a log where you keep track of how many times a day you want to stop what you are doing to check digital media and how often you give in to the impulse.

2. Take a few minutes every day to define and write down the two or three most important things you want to accomplish tomorrow, and when you intend to work on them.  For my two cents, I agree with choosing your priorities before you end your workday so you don’t fret about them late at night.

3. Do the most important activity first in the morning, for a designated period of time of no longer than 90 minutes.

4. Eliminate as much “insecurity work” from your life as possible.  This is a phrase he is borrowing from Scott Belsky and related activities would include: Googling your own name; checking your number of Twitter followers or peeking at your website’s analytics; and looking up your Amazon ranking if you’ve written a book.

5. Keep a running list of everything that’s on your mind — in order to get it off your mind.  He states that “writing all this down, as it arises, literally clears space in our working memories for whatever most deserves our attention”.

6. Each time you go online to do anything, ask yourself “Is this best use of my time?”

7. Systematically, train your attention. To quote: “A simple way is to read more books, preferably good ones. Deeply focused, uninterrupted reading is a very good way to train and sustain your brain’s capacity for absorbed attention.”  He also recommends meditation.

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