“Yeah, you’re right — I really need to start doing that.” Sound familiar?
We constantly face a debate on how to spend our time: where do we find the balance between urgent and important tasks?
AppSumo founder (and employee #30 at Facebook and #4 at Mint) Noah Kagan breaks down what his developer does to stay productive:
He has a master Excel list that lists every single task that needs to be done, ever. He takes three things each day and puts those at the top. From the beginning of the work day — and he only works 9-5, he doesn’t do crazy startup hours — he does nothing else but get those three things done. No meetings, no phone calls, and no e-mails; his day is focused on the moving forward of three items.
Kagan has adopted this method to get stuff done. He simplifies it even further; instead of using Excel, he just puts his tasks inside a text file and focuses on getting three of these important things done everyday.
This is a bit of an extreme example; not everyone has the luxury of working in a silo everyday (although, we could make better uses of our “windows of non-stimulation“). Naturally, as a business leader and manager, Kagan still needs to do phone calls and other urgent tasks. However, this is just a tactic in a grander principle: shift from being reactionary to proactive…and focus on getting the important things done.