Those who work efficiently know “what to do and what not to do”.
First, regarding “what to do”, we nowadays we have many choices.
Although it is sometimes fun to make a choice, don’t you often think that “I wish there was no choice to make”? I usually do.
For example, a high school I went to didn’t have a school uniform; therefore, I had to pick up cloths every day. At work, several small tasks often make me irritated because I have to choose which one to work on first, although the order doesn’t matter in most of the time.
How about ice cream shop which has too many flavors?
I came across an interesting blog post “Don’t Do It Now, Do It Right Now” written by Ari Meisel, who addresses the beauty of being more productive.
Basically he is saying that every time we make a choice in daily life, it is tiring and time consuming and that energy should be used for really important thing. Therefore it is necessary to make an environment deliberately in that you don’t have to make a lot of choices. In other words, by making a routine of doing something unconsciously, you consciously do something important effectively.
The key is how you set yourself in that situation. Ari says the keys are processes, tools, and pathways in place so we know which one to activate without having to make a decision. For example, he introduces banking app which allows depositing checks from anywhere. Or he says deciding one’s favorite brand of cereal for breakfast or toothpaste gives you that energy back so you can use it for more important things. Overall, I think it totally makes sense and it depends on one’s life style, discipline and creativity!!
This also reminded me of my kitchen experience in that I learned what it’s like to work effectively. My boss used to say “Listen, great chef does not only cook well but also wash dishes and pans immediately.” Thanks to him, without any thinking I wash my pan and cooking tools at home even before eating, so that I don’t have to see the piled up things in the sink after the meal. From this learning, I started putting my running wears right next to the bed so that when I wake up, I just put them on and go for the 20 min run every day. I think I can build more routines to use time and energy more effectively.
Also, knowing “what not to do” is equally important.
In this case, I would like to introduce a book
“Power of Less” by Leo Babauta.
Thanks to this book, which mainly tells to focus on the most important things, I stopped checking Facebook and e-mail frequently.
Those who work productively and efficiently know what to do and what not to do. My next goal is to limit checking private e-mail to 3 times a day (what not to do) and trying to make a routine to respond as soon as I see e-mail (what to do).