Productivity

Start Each Day by Finishing 3 Important Tasks that Get Priority

Mihir Patkar
Each work day brings with it a whole new set of challenges and tasks that need to get done. You probably have a huge to-do list of many tasks, and through the course of the day, you start on some and keep adding some more.

Entrepreneur Mike Cassidy, who is heading Google's Project Loon, has a tremendous amount of work every day, but a simple method makes sure he gets everything done while still maintaining regular 9-to-5 working hours. Noah Kagan, co-founder of AppSumo, recounts Cassidy's advice of the '3 Task' list.

The 3-Task List

First, Cassidy creates a master spreadsheet in a program like Excel, which lists every single task that you have to perform.

Then, at the start of each work day, take three essential tasks from that list. And that's your agenda. For the rest of the day, you don't go to any meetings, don't take any phone calls, don't chat with your friends online, and don't answer any emails till those three tasks are finished. The priority is those three tasks, and they have to be dealt with before you can do anything else.

Our Experience

It might sound a little extreme, but I have been heeding a variation of this advice for the past week and it's been surprisingly helpful. I don't have a master Excel sheet, but that's because I have a mental list of all the assignments I need to get to on each day.

I start work at 8:30-9 in the morning, so as soon as I'm at my desk, I don't switch on my phone's screen, eliminating the need to look at text messages and other updates. Then, I close the Gmail, Twitter and Facebook tabs without looking at them. This avoids the temptation of getting those constant updates.

Then, I get to the most important task of the day and finish that without taking a break. This usually requires around two hours of work, after which I get to a normal work routine where I invite all the regular distractions, like checking email, social networks, phone calls, etc.

But just following the shortened version of Cassidy's advice and focussing on that one task has already boosted my productivity. Next stop: Two tasks before opening up to distractions.

AppSumo Discusses Productivity Hacks | via 99u
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