Tim Ferriss Guest Lecture At Princeton Q&A
Do not assume anything.
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Man: I personally wondered if you had any tips about going along that – how you multitask to do so many different things, like you get emails from so many different companies. What do you do to keep everything organized, know what you’re focusing on and what you’re spending time on – with doing so many things at once.
Tim: That’s a good question. What I have tried to do is actually eliminate multitasking because when I try to do more than one thing at once, I end up reaching the end of the day and usually having none of them done. So what I like to do – the first, rule number one – is control your cell phones. If you have a BlackBerry, throw it out. Don’t check email more than twice a day. If you check email at 8 AM in the morning – who the hell is going to reply to you? Nothing’s happened! Between the time you went to bed – nothing’s happened! It’s just Send/Receive. It’s one of those rats with the cocaine pedals. Go, go, go! And that’s how you kill yourself.
So check your email twice a day max. So, I check my business email once a week. Most emergencies are not emergencies. What most people are like “Oh my God – I need it done now, I need it done now!” And then you call them a week later and they’ll be like “Oh, no. I took care of it.” So, to answer your question more specifically though, limit your email because email is the biggest time waster I ever encountered. Focus on output more than input. Don’t read, read, read! You’re gonna have to get out there and trip and smash your face in the curve and get up and try it again and wobble and screw up and make your mistakes. So focus on output. If there’s something uncomfortable, that’s usually what you need to get done. So doing your top priority in the first half of the day – before lunch – is by far the most important. If you wanna fritter away your time in the second half of the day, it doesn’t really matter if you have that one thing done. But you need to be very clear in your goals and you shouldn’t have that many.
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