STEP 1 (5 Minutes): Your Morning Minutes. This is your opportunity to plan ahead. Before turning on your computer, sit down with the to-do list you created...and decide what will make this day highly successful...
STEP 2 (1 Minute Every Hour): Refocus. ...Set your watch, phone, or computer to ring every hour and start the work that's listed on your calendar. When you hear the beep, take a deep breath and ask yourself if you spent your last hour productively. Then look at your calendar and deliberately recommit to how you are going to use the next hour. Manage your day hour by hour. Don't let the hours manage you.
STEP 3 (5 Minutes): Your Evening Minutes. At the end of your day, shut off your computer and review how the day went, asking yourself... questions like: How did the day go? What did I learn about myself? Is there anyone I need to update? Shoot off a couple of emails or calls to make sure you've communicated with the people you need to contact.
The counterintuitive secret to getting things done is to make them more automatic, so they require less energy.
It turns out we each have one reservoir of will and discipline, and it gets progressively depleted by any act of conscious self-regulation. In other words, if you spend energy trying to resist a fragrant chocolate chip cookie, you'll have less energy left over to solve a difficult problem. Will and discipline decline inexorably as the day wears on.
Build routines and habits so that you're not deciding, you're just doing. When you first learn to drive it's 1000 activities like steering, shifting, checking mirrors, braking - but with practice you turned it into autopilot and it's no stress at all.
3) Checklists are magic
Use checklists. Yeah, everybody says that. And you probably don't consistently do it.
The proportion of patients who didn't receive the recommended care dropped from seventy per cent to four per cent; the occurrence of pneumonias fell by a quarter; and twenty-one fewer patients died than in the previous year. The researchers found that simply having the doctors and nurses in the I.C.U. make their own checklists for what they thought should be done each day improved the consistency of care to the point that, within a few weeks, the average length of patient stay in intensive care dropped by half.