I recently read a summary of “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People”, and in of the paragraphs I read the following:
“Being effective means pursuing things that matter and understanding that everything else is a waste of time and effort. Productive people don’t just achieve random goals. They are intentional in the way they live their lives. They can see the big picture. They invest their resources in the real deal.”
This made a lot of sense to me and really got me thinking.
I asked myself:
One of my favorite entrepreneurs is Jack Dorsey. I really admire his Zen-like attitude and composure and his ability to manage two publicly traded companies at the same time.
“I would rather optimize for making every hour meaningful — or every minute meaningful — than I would maximizing the number of hours or minutes I’m working on a thing,” Dorsey told Rich Kleiman in the “The Boardroom: Out of Office Podcast.”
If you follow Jack Dorsey’s interviews, you can find a lot of ideas and tips for time management and mindfulness. In that retrospect, Jack reminds me of Tim Ferris, that has widely contributed to the idea of working productively and effectively.
When you think about working effectively, think about the term “moving the needle”, as that is what you want to do. You want to make things happen, and you want to provide advancement and progress.
Only you can tell yourself which activities are the ones that can move the needle for you.
The tricky thing is that sometimes we can’t tell which activity is truly essential for us at the moment, and which one is essential for us in the long term. But that is when experience steps in, and that is why seasoned entrepreneurs have a very strong gut feeling of what they need to do next.
Another great quote comes from Sam Altman on How to Be Successful:
"Focus is a force multiplier on work. Almost everyone I’ve ever met would be well-served by spending more time thinking about what to focus on. It is much more important to work on the right thing than it is to work many hours. Most people waste most of their time on stuff that doesn’t matter.
Once you have figured out what to do, be unstoppable about getting your small handful of priorities accomplished quickly. I have yet to meet a slow-moving person who is very successful."
Set aside some time, it can be once a week, or once a day, whatever suits you, and in that time make sure you are prioritizing the things that are truly important to you. If you are not going to prioritize your schedule, someone else will, that is how business works. Also, pay attention to how each task impacts your company's activity, by doing that you will be able to learn more, and have a better grasp, on what really moves the needle.