In an “always-on” world, it’s easy for people to assume that hard work equals quality work. That long hours equate to production. That more meetings can lead to getting more things done. We’re all guilty of this (myself included).
I have a sticky note on my desk that says “do not mistake motion for progress.” Hard work in a vacuum is a waste of time and energy if it isn’t pointed in the right direction.
To prevent myself from getting lost in my inbox / slack / meetings, I create a list of 3 critical things I need to get done each day. I normally like to do this the night before.
To-do-lists are efficient, but not effective. They’re in-place to prevent you from forgetting action items. They can be long and include remedial tasks. The 3 things I’m referencing are going to help you make progress daily, weekly, monthly and beyond.
Try this: for the next two weeks, create a list of 3 things you must tackle the next day and actually tackle them. Do this on the weekends, too. Even if it’s personal things you need to work on. You’ll see a drastic change in your ability to get more done each day and not feel like you’re being managed by your day.