Chapter 1
Time management

“The bad news is that time flies. The good news is that you are the pilot.”

– Michael Altshuler

Focus on systems, not goals

Goals are often beyond our control; we can only influence them to some extent.

A system – essentially a repeatable process – is something we have complete control over.

Take, for example, running a marathon. That’s a goal.

But running 30 minutes four days a week? That’s a repeatable process, a system.

Leverage the compound effect

Working on systems daily, your efforts stack up, leading to exponential growth over time.

Each benefit you achieve builds on the previous one, creating a snowball effect.

A daily improvement of just 1% can lead to a nearly 38-fold increase in a year.

Measure output, not input

Systems excel at stimulating progress because they are within our control and reward effort.

Yet, direction is crucial in these efforts to be purposeful.

Writing daily without a goal is exercise.

To achieve specific results, commit to tangible outputs, such as weekly blog posts.

Ultimately, a system is your strategy for achieving desired outputs.

Apply the 80/20 rule

This principle leads you to regularly evaluate whether your focus, time or money is directed toward activities that produce the majority of your results.

The 80/20 rule, or the Pareto principle, suggests that 80% of outcomes come from 20% of efforts. It emphasizes that a small fraction of actions drives the majority of results.

Prioritize mornings for deep work

Our cognitive abilities such as working memory, alertness and concentration improve a few hours after waking up, reaching their peak in the late morning. This is our brain’s natural high-productivity phase.

Use this time wisely by planning your critical tasks then. Engage in deep work during this period, which means working for extended periods of time without distractions.

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