Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
This is a quote I love. Improving one's abilities is the only way to not only excel in a task, but also of doing it with the maximal efficiency. In our current work structure, where it is assumed that you should be doing work for 9 or 10 hours a day, the one that works smarter finish his work in 7 hours. The one that just works harder, works for 9 hours. Let's be the smarter worker, starting now.
To be really effective, you should sharpen your saw: improve your knowledge, use the best tools and don't waste time in nonsense. And you should do this daily. Why? Because it is the perfect application of your time. Trust Abraham Lincoln!
Some ideas worth considering for sharpening your saw daily:
- Review your work day at the end of the day: Where did you waste time? Who interrupted your work flow? What file wasn't in the correct place? Write this down and make a plan to not fall for the same tomorrow.
- Keep up with your field: Keep updated with your field news. Read the most current developments, splitting longer articles or books for several days.
- Finish/Keep up your side projects: Pick one of your side projects (your blog, your book, your new language) and either finish it working a little each day, or keep up with it. In the long run, even 5 minutes daily can be a big difference in a huge project.
Overwhelmed With Projects? Declare Task Bankruptcy!