How to Effectively Spend Your Time

Four types of activities

  1. Getting the job done. These are activities that produce immediate tangible results for those who pay us in return, and respond to a need for short-term effectiveness.
  2. Reviewing our work or the work done by others. These are management activities that allow us to improve how we do things and help improve efficiency in the short term.
  3. Innovating, undertaking, changing things. This is when we try to anticipate what the future holds, or question current solutions and seek to learn new things in order to create new solutions. These activities improve long-term effectiveness and connect us to the purpose of what we do.
  4. Integration activities. They improve relationships with other people close to us and with ourselves. They promote long-term efficiency.

Shallow and deep work

Evaluation of daily work

  1. Doing work as it shows up. Whenever something pops into our head we can capture it to do at another time, but there are times when it may make sense to get on to it immediately (unforeseen events, crises, etc.). This type of work is a totally unproductive trap and should be kept to a minimum, but it’s easy to get caught up in this kind of work, especially when you have an organizational system relatively out of control. If this type of work is not timely and controlled, it tends to generate high levels of frustration and anxiety.
  2. Doing predefined work. It means doing the work you have already defined in your personal management system, i.e., choosing an action to perform within your lists according to your current situation and priorities.
  3. Defining our work. This is time dedicated to clarifying what exactly are the demands that come into your life, organizing them conveniently in the appropriate lists and checking that these lists are up to date. In short, it’s about determining what tasks you need to carry out.

In summary

  1. Make sure your activities are a rational combination of tasks that will generate a short-term benefit with tasks that will improve your life in the long run.
  2. Allocate your time so that you can devote a significant amount of time to deep work in an environment that encourages concentration and avoids distractions.
  3. Spend some time every day defining and organizing your work, so that you don’t get carried away by the tyranny of urgencies.

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