How Tim Ferriss Gets Things Done

How Tim Ferriss Gets Things Done

Have trouble getting things done?

You’re in good company – even Tim Ferriss struggles!

I just read his article, and love his tips. I’m posting them so you can see if they might help you, too!

Plus, there’s a graphic at the end that you can pin to remind you.

Here’s the tactic Tim mentions in his blog post “Productivity” Tricks for the Neurotic, Manic-Depressive, and Crazy (Like Me):

Here’s my coping mechanism and 8-step process for maximizing efficacy (doing the right things):

  1. Wake up at least 1 hour before you have to be at a computer screen. E-mail is the mind killer.
  2. Make a cup of tea (I like pu-erh) and sit down with a pen/pencil and paper.
  3. Write down the 3-5 things — and no more — that are making you most anxious or uncomfortable. They’re often things that have been punted from one day’s to-do list to the next, to the next, to the next, and so on. Most important usually = most uncomfortable, with some chance of rejection or conflict.
  4. For each item, ask yourself:
    – “If this were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day?”
    – “Will moving this forward make all the other to-do’s unimportant or easier to knock off later?”
  5. Look only at the items you’ve answered “yes” to for at least one of these questions.
  6. Block out 2-3 hours to focus on ONE of them for today. Let the rest of the urgent but less important stuff slide. It will still be there tomorrow.
  7. TO BE CLEAR: Block out at 2-3 HOURS to focus on ONE of them for today. This is ONE BLOCK OF TIME. Cobbling together 10 minutes here and there to add up to 120 minutes does not work.
  8. If you get distracted or start procrastinating, don’t freak out and downward spiral; just gently come back to your ONE to-do.

Congratulations! That’s it.

Tim goes on to say that if he has too many important things to do in a day, it’s 100% certain nothing important will get done that day. But, he can handle 1 must-do item.

I know how easy it is for me to get overwhelmed, and how hard it can be to get things done. So I’ll give this a try.

Pin the graphic below to remind you of Tim’s method for getting things done!


How Tim Ferriss Gets Things Done

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  1. says

    Thanks for sharing. I too will surely give it a try. I agree that when we write more than 5 things on our to do list chances are we get anxious and don’t get anything done. Great read, very helpful!

  2. says

    Hi Louise,

    Thank for sharing. I didn’t know that Tim is doing this. I mean wake up 1 hour earlier. I started to apply this concept few weeks ago.

    I don’t do much during that 1 hour. I reserve it to really ask one simple question: what I really want to happen in my life and what I can do today to get closer.

    Then I list down 4 to 5 items as my daily tasks. I tried to complete them as soon as I have time to work on.

    This is efficient!

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