Assuming you identify your core focus areas and want to spend time on them, you need to keep the rest of the world in line while you do so. There are plenty of organizational systems out there, but we have had the most success with David Allen’s Getting Things Done, which is essentially: What is it and is it actionable now (as opposed to “some day”)?
- If it is actionable:
- Will it take less than 2 minutes? If so, do it now.
- Are you really the best person to do it? If not, delegate it to someone else now.
- Defer for now – either schedule time when it will be done or put it on your “to do” list.
- If it is not actionable, there are 3 possibilities:
- It is not needed – trash it.
- It is reference material (you might need to look this up at some point) – file it in a good system.
- It’s a maybe/someday item – add it to an “ideas” list that you check periodically.
Then, once a week, look at your overall lists of projects and actions to make sure you have everything (thoughts, ideas, projects, to do’s) captured in one of those categories.
There is a bit more to it, but this gives you the basic idea. Many similar systems exist, which one you use doesn’t particularly matter. What matters is that you actually have a system.
Try this out for a couple of weeks. It should help you get more done!