Getting Things Eight-Tenths Done

Actually Getting Big Things Done is a series of guests posts on how to make things happen from those who know how to… well… actually get big things done. Today’s post comes from Patrick Rhone whose book, Enough was one of the best things I’ve read this year.

Here is your mission, should you choose to accept it. Should you have the bold courage it takes to make the tough choices that are required. Should you have the blunt honesty it will take to accomplish it.

Are you ready? OK, here you go…

Take everything you have to do today and list it out. All of it. Even the stuff that seems mundane or routine like Make coffee or Take the kids to school.

OK, got it? Good.

Now, remove 20% of it.

Yep. I want you to make the conscious choice not to do at least two-tenths of those things. Instead, take that time and spend it doing the things you are not spending enough time doing. Like, sleeping or spending time with your family.

There are only 24 hours in every day — Every second of which you will never get back again. The only way to have more time for the things you should be doing is to delete the things you really don’t have to do. Twenty percent of 24 hours is 4.8 hours. That’s almost 5 hours to do the things you want to do, love to do, or really have to do but can’t seem to find the time. Problem solved. Time found.

Every choice we make to do something is also a choice to not do something else. As I have implored repeatedly, saying no is saying yes to other things. Therefore, be mindful in your assessment of every choice you make and realize that it is taking away other choices you could, and likely should, be making.

Look, we are doing too much. We think it is because there is too much to do. This might be true for some. Probably not for most. It is more likely that we are choosing to do things that don’t have to get done at the expense of other things we really should be doing. But, because those things don’t look like “doing things” we choose, instead, to spend less time doing the things that really matter and confuse “nice to dos” with “need to dos”.

In fact, I’ll go even further and say that portion (20%) of things we are about to say No to are there simply because we were afraid of saying No to them in the first place. And, once we said Yes that made us even more afraid to take it back. So, instead of facing that fear and being honest about our intentions, we gave in to it. Truth requires courage.

Now, kill some things off that list and go back to bed. You look tired.

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3 Responses to Getting Things Eight-Tenths Done

  1. Thank you so much for this post. I have been seriously stretching myself thin. I’ll be applying this concept every time I write my to-do lists from now on. Fantastic post.

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