Getting the RIGHT things done

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Do you strug­gle get­ting the right things done? Do you find your­self play­ing catch up because you poured too much of your peak ener­gy into some­thing that could have wait­ed? It hap­pens to many cre­atives. You could use M.I.T. to be more pro­duc­tive.

What does it stand for?

M.I.T. stands for Most Impor­tant Task. On his Pinkcast, Dan Pink explains how it works: “It’s real­ly sim­ple . . . at the begin­ning of the day, fig­ure out what’s the most impor­tant thing you have to do that day. That’s your M.I.T.. Write it down and here’s the thing: do that first.” 

Yes, actually do that thing first

The word pri­or­i­ty lit­er­al­ly means pri­or thing (sin­gu­lar) or first thing. In his book Essen­tial­ism, Greg McK­e­own reminds us that the word pri­or­i­ty only recent­ly became plur­al. These days we say pri­or­ities, but think about how dif­fi­cult it is to do many things first. You will need to pick one thing and go with it. This is why M.I.T. is use­ful.

By doing the most impor­tant thing first, you ensure that it gets accom­plished with­out dis­trac­tions. It has to get done, no mat­ter what. And because you’re com­mit­ted to set­ting a “no fly zone,” you are more like­ly to fol­low through. (Amy Porter­field uses the term “no fly zone” and “tiger time” in her writ­ing about stay­ing focused for online course cre­ation. This sim­ply means your phone ringer is off, you’re dis­con­nect­ed from Face­book, you’re not reply­ing to texts. You’re in the zone. You arrange your com­mit­ments so you’re unreach­able for a defined peri­od.)

M.I.T. values your best self

Cre­at­ing con­tent requires ener­gy. It requires your best self.

Your worst self is the tired, irri­ta­ble, spent per­son who needs to recharge before she can do her best work again. Have you been there before? You’re bat­ter­ies are drained, yet there’s still a pri­or­i­ty on your plate? This is a result of sav­ing the most impor­tant thing to do lastNot rec­om­mend­ed.

To be a com­mit­ted con­tent cre­ator, you have to know your­self and know when you’re most like­ly to get stuff done. Here are some state­ments you might res­onate with:

  • You need to make good, deep stuff (not shal­low, mean­ing­less work)
  • You need to be able to spend time with peo­ple and not work all the time (you need mar­gin)
  • You need to stop liv­ing in emer­gency mode 
  • You need to start fol­low­ing through your goals

A dai­ly prac­tice of M.I.T. can pro­vide the sys­tem you need to main­tain the bal­ance in mar­gin in your life to get your work done, but still spend time with fam­i­ly.

Here’s how to use M.I.T.

  1. Iden­ti­fy at the begin­ning of the day—or the night before—exact­ly what’s going to pro­pel your­self fur­ther the most dur­ing that day.
  2. Only focus on that one thing until it’s done. You can’t move on to any­thing else!

For me, I have to do my writ­ing, videos, audio, and cre­ative work before lunch if I want it to be the best it can be. I try to save web work, meet­ings, and etc for my after­noons. These tasks re-ener­gize me when my body starts get­ting slug­gish.

What you could do first

  1. Record a quick video
  2. Make the pod­cast you’ve been putting off
  3. Reach your dai­ly word count or video count

This is an insane­ly sim­ple pro­duc­tiv­i­ty tool you should try. I write M.I.T. on a note­card and pin it to my cork board. It feels great to be able to take this down halfway through the day know­ing I used my time effec­tive­ly. [reminder comment=“Share your thoughts by click­ing here.”]What strate­gies do you use to get things done?[/reminder]

This idea orig­i­nat­ed from Leo Babau­ta, founder of Zen Habits.

Thank you SO much.

Ben white 197668

Hey, thanks so much for vis­it­ing my site. To be hon­est, I hate these pop up things so much and hes­i­tat­ed putting it here. But I REALLY want to stay in touch with you about how you can cre­ate bet­ter con­tent. If you sub­scribe to my email list I promise to only deliev­er con­tent that is use­ful to you. Thanks for your time :-)

- Josh Mitchell

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