Updated: Mar 29, 2020
I get it. You want to be faster and feel more efficient. You want to produce better results in less time. You want the amount of time and energy that you invest to be proportional to your results.
You can indeed make that happen. I will tell you a little secret, that is actually no secret at all, but for some reason, we act like we don't know it: You can only do one thing at a time. This doesn't mean that you can only do one thing. You can do everything on your to do list, but you can only do one thing at the same time.
I will give you an example of mine that I hope you can relate to.
When I only have one thing in my mental to do list, I perform that one thing exquisitely because my whole focus is put into it.
However, when I have more things on my mental to do list, I become slower at each thing. While I do one thing, I am worrying about not doing the other thing. Or even worst, I try to solve the second thing while I am working on the first one, leading to none of them being fully resolved.
The solution: Forgetting about mental to do lists.
Mental to do lists are the worst because you spend a lot of energy trying to remember what's in them, and you loose focus of the one thing you are doing in the moment.
Instead, I use real written down to do lists, with extreme details in them, including the amount of time I expect to dedicate to each task. The accuracy of the time frames that you choose doesn't matter that much; you can tweek this as you go. What matters is that you set them to something.
Once you have written down your tasks, trust that piece of paper with your whole heart, and fully devote to the one thing that you are doing in the moment.
This is a process that consists of constant dismissal. Your mind will constantly remind you of the other things that you must also do. Your job is to continuously dismiss them, remembering that every time you choose to focus on a different task, you are not finishing the one that you have scheduled to do in this moment right now.
When we try to speed up, we usually end up trying to do many things at the same time. This actually makes us slow down, because it's simply not possible to do more than one thing simultaneously. Our brain starts going back and forward from one task to the other, and a huge part of our energy is wasted.
If you want to do everything, do one thing only!