You can only do one thing at a time. Decide what its going to be and then get on with it to the best of your ability and not worrying about doing anything else.
Approach each task as if it was your last. Focus the whole of your life on it. Ignore all distractions. Find clarity in the simplicity of just doing.
Sift what is important from what is not. Ie. prioritise. But: (a) recognise the difference between urgent and important; (b) low priority tasks should sometimes be tackled to prevent them becoming urgent or high priority, (c) sometimes you need a break from high priority tasks.
Understand the value adding opportunity costs with respect to anything that is being done. Ie. could greater value be added through doing alternative things or could the value be added in a less costly manner.
Don’t allow yourself to be continually driven by urgent or short term tasks. If you do, you will simply find yourself continually going from one crisis to another.
Whenever dealing with short term issues always (except in very rare circumstances) set aside time to deal with longer term issues and implications, roughly 5% of the time.
It is vitally important to find the right balance between long term and short term. Too much focus on long term generally leads to things not getting done. Too much focus on the short term results in simply going from crisis to crisis and never having the time to do the things that will prevent the next crisis.
If someone claims that something can be done in principle ensure: it can be done within reasonable timescales, with resources that can reasonably be made available, and without unacceptable consequences on something else.
There is usually an optimal time for doing something, which lies somewhere between not doing it too early and thus potentially need to make changes, and not doing it too late where the full benefit of it cannot be gained.
Look for shortcuts, ways of doing what needs to be done as quickly and using the fewest resources possible. But don’t compromise on the quality with which it needs to be done.
You will achieve more if you can cooperate with others rather than trying to compete with them.
When considering what order to do a number of linked activities consider: (a) the need to do activities upon which others are dependent early, (b) when there is uncertainty, doing things that are less dependent upon the uncertainties early, (c) doing things to reduce uncertainty, where cost-effective.
If doing things to reduce uncertainty ensure that the benefits gained from the likely achieved reduced uncertainty outweigh the costs of the activities to reduce the uncertainty.
Ensure that you have clear objectives for the things you are doing or want to do. Objectives should be: meaningful, measurable, feasible, challenging.
If you want to achieve something have a plan for achieving it, at least to the extent that you know what steps you need to make so that you can be sure you are making progress.
Sometimes you don’t know everything you would ideally like to know, and you need to simply get on with it as best you can.
Do the things that are worrying you, or you feel guilty about not doing.
If you’re doing something do it as best you can within the time you’re willing to allocate to it.
Change your mind about what you’re doing if there’s good reason. But don’t change it for minor reasons or you’ll find yourself continually changing direction and not achieving anything.
Do enough, and only enough, unless there’s good reason for doing more. If you do more than is enough then you are spending time when you could be doing something else.
People don’t do things that appear stupid because they are stupid. They do them because: (a) You know something they don’t; (b) They know something you don’t; (c) They have different objectives than you; (d) They have different objectives than you think they have; (e) They balance their objectives different than you; (f) They have a different view of what is feasible than you.
Doing something imperfectly is sometimes better than not doing it at all. Sometimes if something can only be done imperfectly there is no point in doing it all. Think about how genuinely useful what you can do will be, and whether or not you could spend your time doing something more useful, and then decide.
A small step in the right direction is better than no step at all, and probably better than a big step in the wrong direction.
Don’t confuse motion with progress.
If you think you’ll fail you probably will. Only do things which you believe you can succeed at.
Match your ambitions to your ability. Too ambitious means frequent failures and eventual disheartenment and cynicism. Too unambitious means you fail to achieve your potential and probably regret it in the future.
It is often better to have tried and failed than not to have tried at all.
Tell people why you want something done and they’ll make a better job of it.
Always be sure that what you ask for can feasibly be provided. If it is, someone will try to give it to you. If it’s not, they’ll decide for themselves what to give you based on their own objectives and interests.
Treat people as equals. Show them courtesy and respect. People are not slaves.
Effective negotiation lies in finding win-win positions.
Be persistent. Getting things done usually requires a small amount of inspiration and a large amount of persistence. Be persistent where you believe you can eventually succeed. Being persistent where you can’t succeed is a waste of time. But decide for yourself whether or not you think you can succeed.
Use of your time should be seen as a limited resource. An important concept is ‘sunk cost’, ie time you have already spent is unrecoverable. It is important not to throw good time (ie. present and future time) after bad (ie. past time which you perceive to have been unproductive). Another important concept is ‘opportunity cost’ and the fact that there are usually alternative things you could spend you time on which may be of greater value.
If you’re not using your time you’re wasting it.
Do what you can to the best of your abilities. If things are out of your control don’t worry about them. React to them as best you can.
Look for the opportunities that exist in every situation.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.