Read this if you feel that every day is a fire fighting and important stuff is left for when it is too late.

Do you recognise your day?

Eight in the morning, good energy level, ready for a productive day. In my head a list of 10 things I will achieve today!

Nine in the morning, starting the day. Turning on the computer and discovering 100+ unread emails, 10 chat messages and 2 post-its

Noon, time to eat, and the feeling that I’ve not done anything useful.

Six pm, going home, I’ve done one only thing from my morning list and feel depress and really unproductive.

How I feel my computer should look like to do all the work. I also need to have that many eyes and brains

Do you feel crap, that every day is about solving immediate issues and not what really matters? ( I call it the firefighter feeling)

This issue has been discussed in very lengthy articles delivering high level and philosophical conclusions, like: “wake up early”, “work smarter, not harder”, “Say no”. Few articles deliver a clear a,b,c method to help.

Make each day count for something you care about

  • Before arriving at the office, I select ONE thing that will take me 15 minutes or less and that I consider, important. For example: reading a chapter of a new business book or drafting the table of content of the presentation for a big customer.
    • You can do hell of a lot in 15 minutes of DEDICATED time.
  • Arriving in the office, I go into a meeting room and do it. It usually takes me 30 minutes not 15 as planned, but it’s ok. I’m very bad to estimate time, and you too.
    • Going to a coffee shop down the road works too, as long as you don’t get interrupted
  • While I’ve physically done very little, in my mind and my gut, I feel GOOD. This is the difference between having DONE something important TO ME versus doing lots of stuff for others. This makes me feel that my day has been “ok productive”. For sure more productive than in the past.
  • Now it’s time to go to my desk and look at email, post-its and use all my other efficiency tools
  • If I can blog 30 minutes in the day, I’ll repeat the process and move something forward. The more 30 minutes block I manage to have the better I feel. Easy


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