Learn to Focus

I believe that focus underpins time management, Timothy Ferriss appears to disagree in his very  interesting book, The Four Hour Work Week, in it there is a chapter on time management in which he tells us to forget all about it. He asks us five questions:

1. If you had a heart attack and were only allowed to work for two hours a day, what would you do?

2. If you were unlucky and had a second heart attack and were then only allowed to work for two hours a week, what would you do?

3. If someone put a gun to your head and ordered you to stop doing 4/5ths of different time-consuming activities, what would you stop?

4. What are the top three activities that I do that makes me feel as though I’ve been productive?

5. Learn to ask, “If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be happy?”

While Ferriss may not have a lot of respect for time management, he has a great deal of respect for focus. All five of his questions are attempting to get his readers to focus on the important things and minimise or throw out completely the unimportant things, surely the essence of time management? How would you answer these questions?

Another thing Ferriss discusses is Parkinson’s law which states that a task will swell in importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion. Ferriss argues that by allocating too much time to do any task, we make a mountain out of a mole hill and that a product of better quality will be produced when given less time. In all fairness, it all depends on the project. You can’t demand a product in a day that in actuality needs a week to produce and expect top quality. But the point he’s making is about focus. And the point we need to take away is that we need to take a fresh honest look at our business and life, with the intent of making the main thing the main thing.
Till Next Time
The Time Doctor – Mike Gardner
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Mike Gardner - The Time Doctor

Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor helps the overworked and overwhelmed learn to say 'No' nicely, and improve their management of time, emails and meetings. He is also an avid fan of Aston Villa, a Dad of Neil & Emma, a hubby to Wendy and in his role with the reserve forces, he has completed operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

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2 comments on “Learn to Focus

  1. Janet on said:

    Still haven’t read Four Hour Work Week but it makes me wonder how many hours of an office job are *actually* productive. I know that I waste a lot of time at the office simply because there isn’t always work to be done! And it feels like boring face time. I am self employed now but I could still improve my productivity.

    • The Time Doctor on said:

      Hi Janet, it is worth a read although perhaps a little unrealistic in places, I am sure my Top 20 management tips will be of use to you, it is free to download

      Have an awesome day


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