How do you get so much done?

Posted by Marcus Hammarberg on November 30, 2019
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How do you get so much done? Where do you find the time?

This is a question that I often get asked and it always catch me off guard. I don’t have a recipe (or do I?) and I don’t think I get more done than others.

But last time when I was asked this question I stopped for awhile and thought to myself - what do I do, and is that something others don’t?

In this particular case I referred to a blog post I’ve written and the question back was:

How do you find the time to write blog posts?

In this blog post I share a couple of my … tricks.

When I decide to do it - I do it

If I get an idea for a blog post (or any other task that needs to be done) - I try to do it right away. Not putting it up until next week “when there’s more time”. Chances are - there are no time there.

If there’s no time now, because of other (more important) things I need to do; then I might jot down a word or two to remember my idea. 9/10 times when I get back to the work (in this example writing the blog post) it is either still not time or I don’t think it is important anymore.

Do it right way was a trick I learned by an early mentor from my days at Cap Gemini. He (Christian Forsberg) was an slightly older but much more senior consultant to me. At one point in time we were in a client meeting together, planning out a project. There was differents tasks and jobs divided among us and after about 30 minutes the meeting was over. I stepped out of the room and when I reach the elevator I got an email in my phone (ooooh - that was SO cool back then.)

It was from Christian:

Here’s the documentation from the meeting and two of my 3 tasks fulfilled

I was gobsmacked and rushed back to ask him how he did that. I did it right away, he answered almost questioning. Is there another way? He took notes during the meeting that he shared and then the two tasks was sharing code and documentation. Done. 30 seconds. Done right away.

From that time whenever there’s even the slightest opportunity to do something right away - I do it.

When I do it - I only do that

My other trick is focus. Once I decide to do something I do only that until it’s done. I take breaks and chunk up my work but my priority and focus is clear; get the thing done. If it is a big task I try to find small things that I can get done and call done, before considering doing things from other areas that need my attention.

This something I undoublelty picked up after reading, teaching and becoming agile over the years. Quite simple:

Limit the number of things going on at the same time.

This does NOT mean that I don’t also have lots of time when I’m not only doing one thing. Usually these are a lot of lower priority things that doesn’t have to get done soon.

If I need something done - I do only that.

Do the fun things

The last words of my wedding vows to Elin is something that I sometimes shivver in shame over, and then also am proud over. It ended like this:

Elin, I promise to try to make our life together fun.

This, naive approach to life and work has led me here. I have declined several higher paid positions because I wouldn’t be happy there. Elin and I have made some personal moves that people are scratching their head about - just becuase we thought we would be happier, have more fun where we went instead.

Sometimes it turned out good - sometimes not as good, but then we changed it and learned from it.

I don’t do things that I don’t enjoy. it’s that simple. Very childish sometimes, but it’s a fact. Boring stuff simply don’t get done. So the boring stuff that I have to do I try to make fun; time reports? let’s write an application to do that for you? Invoicing - that can probably be generated from a template in Google Sheets… etc.

Conclusion

There you have it. My 3 tricks:

  • Do it right away
  • Do only that
  • Do the fun things

I hope you found something useful here.


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Published by Marcus Hammarberg on Last updated