How Tim Ferriss Gets Things Done

How Tim Ferriss Gets Things Done

Have trouble getting things done?

Welcome to my world.

Turns out, this is not so unusual. Even Tim Ferriss struggles!

I just read his article, and need to save and use his method. So I’m posting it here on my blog, so you can check it out and see if it might help you, too!

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.

What about you? Do you have other productivity tips to share, or will you try Tim’s method for getting things done?

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Comments

  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!

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