1-Sentence-Summary: Do What Matters Most outlines the importance of time management in anyone’s life and explores highly efficient methods to set goals for short-term and long-term intervals, as well as how to achieve them by being more productive and learning how to prioritize.
Read in: 4 minutes
Favorite quote from the author:
If you want to take charge of your life, there are certain things that you’ll have to change when it comes to time management, goals, ambitions, and priorities. So where do you start? Essentially, the first thing you’ll have to do is change your mindset.
It all comes down to what happens in your mind throughout the day. If you set specific, smart goals and envision yourself achieving them, your subconscious mind will work harder than ever to make that happen for you, even when you’re not aware of that.
Still, there is much more than just goals when we talk about success in both your personal and professional life. Time management sounds like a cliche, but you’d be surprised to find out how many people fail to properly prioritize their activities.
Fortunately, Do What Matters Most comes in to help anyone struggling with an imbalance in their life by offering practical lessons on how to make the most out of their day, be more present when it matters and adopt a low-stress approach in general.
Here are my three favorite lessons from the book:
Now, let’s explore these lessons in detail and reveal the remarkable things they have to teach us!
Lesson 1: To become more productive, one must set smart goals and stick to them.
First thing first, learn how to prioritize. Make a list of the things you have to do, and divide them by importance and urgency. Essentially, you’ll want to have four categories: high-stress and high-priority, high-stress and low-priority, low-stress and high priority, and low-stress and low-priority. The key is to plan ahead and spend most of your time in the last category.
But what about the bigger picture? Goals, ambitions and life objectives should define the little things we do each and every day. For this reason, it’s important to set annual goals in both your personal and professional life using the SMART method. This acronym stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
For example, instead of writing down goals such as: “I want to lose weight.’’, try to make them sound more like: “I will lose 5 pounds by December 3rd, 2021.’’. Defining your goals to the last detail will give you a sense of urgency, making your mind and body work harder to achieve them.
If your routine feels chaotic, unstructured and you often end the day feeling like you could’ve been more productive, chances are you could benefit from a new approach to your time management and direction in life. Making the most out of your days should be a priority, as the way you spend them will define your future.
Start by taking a look at your calendar and freeing 20 to 45 minutes to plan the next week ahead. Be careful to have it done by the end of the week, and not on Monday morning, so as to have sufficient time to do it. Always plan according to your goals and personal ambitions that you’ve learned how to define in the previous lesson.
Turn vague ideas into action. Ask yourself, what is it that you can do next week to get one step closer to your goal? Then, plan accordingly. It is particularly important to do so, as it will help you be consistent and stay on track, instead of letting the momentum and occasional bursts of inner motivation run your days.
Also, be strict while planning your weeks. Have your plan cover an entire day. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t leave room for breaks or some unstructured time to regroup yourself, but try to be organized and build a productive routine. Take your sticky notes and phone reminders to the next level by planning ahead.
When I’m talking about being specific when it comes to your schedule, I mean extremely specific. Let’s say it’s Friday afternoon and you’re in the process of planning for the next week. As you write down your daily activities and tasks, make sure to include the hour and the time allocated for each and every one of them.
This will help you avoid procrastination and not waste time, but winning some instead. When you don’t plan using time-frames, you end up overdoing some of your tasks and wasting too much time. This is counterproductive and it will postpone the achievement of your end goals.
The authors learned that by planning ahead, you can increase your productivity levels by 50 to 80 percent! That’s an incredible use of time and a sure way to reach your objectives, isn’t it? Now, keep in mind the most important thing still remains setting your professional and personal goals, as they will lay the foundation for your entire planning process.
This book will help anyone struggling with inefficient time management and a lack of direction gain a better understanding of how planning processes work and how to get the most out of their life. Do What Matters Most offers a great start to all of those who feel as if they can do better than they did yesterday. Reading this book will reveal some practical tips on how to set and achieve goals, and eventually, on how to become more productive and time-efficient.
The 33-year-old who wants to become more productive in all areas of their life, the 44-year-old leader who wants to implement more efficient practices in their team and personal life, or the 21-year-old student who finds it hard to manage their time and balance social and academic activities.
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