My last blog entry was about accomplishing more by doing less (if you'd like to read that one first, click here). I'd like to focus on one aspect of this by talking a bit more about scheduling and time blocking.
Now, I want to preface all this by saying one thing: we are not trying to make you more efficient so that you can get 40 hours of work done in 16 hours a day. The whole point of this is to help you get more done so that you can spend less time working, and spend more time painting, writing poetry, snowboarding, cooking, or whatever it is that makes your heart sing.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but the more time you spend doing stuff you love, the more effective you will be. Ever had a trainer tell you that your rest days are when your muscles change? It's the same with the brain. You're packing tons of information in there all week, but it's when you relax, unwind and completely shift your focus to something fun and compelling that your brain has the breathing space to sort it all out. You'll gain a broader perspective and get a whole lot more creative. You'll get great ideas. You'll be a visionary, not a drone. And the most important part is that you'll be a whole lot happier.
I can't tell you how many times a day people describe this cat herding scenario to me: going all day from task to task, responding to phone calls and email as they come in, starting one task, then remembering, mid-stream, that something else needs to be done, changing tasks, never going back to the first one. Exhausting-and it leaves one with a sense of frustration. I feel tired just typing it.
I try to base my work principles on a passage from the Tao te Ching that I'd like to share with you:
Express yourself completely,
then keep quiet.
Be like the forces of nature:
when it blows, there is only wind;
when it rains, there is only rain;
when the clouds pass, the sun shines through.
I see a few principles in here: a) speak the truth and the truth only b) do what you're doing, fully, without distraction and c)if you do that, the difficulty will pass.