The new year typically begins with a loudly proclaimed set of goals for the year: lose weight, eat better, make more money, create more, etc.
However, these goals often lack the well known SMART qualities, as well as a system to achieve them. We find ourselves, months later, frustrated and ashamed that we failed at our goals.
There’s a better way.
Here is the main thing you can do to get more done in 2017:
One of my favorite books from last year was Cal Newport’s DEEP WORK, an awesome follow up to So Good They Can’t Ignore You. Cal talks about the importance of blocking out large chunks of time for deep work, rather than trying to accomplish things 15 mins at a time.
If it’s a priority, you need to carve out some time during your day and protect it against things like interruptions from coworkers, notifications from the internet, and the Resistance.
I’ve found that it’s a) super hard, but also b) super worth it. I can normally go about 90 minutes before I need to get up and stretch, eat something, or shake off the focus for a bit before jumping into the other tasks for the day, but here are some things I do to get in some deep work every day.
- Schedule it.
If it isn’t on the calendar, it won’t happen. I have a very strict morning routine that has started to creep into the first hours of work.
I block out two hours because it usually takes 10-15 mins to get settled and ready, and it typically ends right when my business partner is ready to go eat food.
- Turn Off The World
I use two great options to turn off the world. For my computer, an app called Freedom which blocks the internet and even access to apps if you want it to.
On my iPhone, I just set it to “Do Not Disturb” mode and that takes care of most of the issue. Once I’m working I tend to not have tons of desire to peruse apps or be on my phone, but if you have that problem when working then the Freedom app can help with that as well.
Hopefully this helps as we start the year out on our best collective feet. What other systems do you have in place?