I can’t think of anything we assign more attention and anxiety to on a daily basis than email.
As you can tell from the previous content on this blog I’ve experimented with literally dozens of plans to increase productivity, improve flow, and lower work-related stress.
But over the holidays I re-read parts of The 4-Hour Workweek and discovered that implementing #3 below radically improved my ability to focus and lowered work anxiety.
Simply put, Tim was right about this one – it’s a game-changer.
If you are like everyone else on the internet, you probably suffer long periods of distraction.
And if you’re distracted there’s a good chance you’re procrastinating. (You’re not the only one.)
Let go for too long, these many small procrastinations morph into one mammoth stressor. This is the kind of stress that makes you talk to yourself, rewrite incessant but unstruck to-do lists, and, eventually, keeps you awake at night.
I am a list builder.
I break projects down into their most granular tasks and write them down in a to-do list on an old school scrap of notebook paper. If you look around my desk, folded and tucked neatly reused as bookmarks into books on my shelf, and in my round file cabinet (aka the trash), you’ll find them everywhere.
Using to-do lists is reinforced everywhere on the web. The tech industry, in particular, is obsessed with the cult of productivity and to-do lists. There are posts on the 5 best to-do list managers, not-to-do lists, and there are apps for that.