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Good Advice, From A Dubious Source

Sep 29, 2009

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Barrie Hardymon

One of the best things about travel is that it gets you away from your to-do list long enough that you can tear it up and make another one — even longer and more idealistic than the original. (I've replaced "write more," with "Write Your Novel!" Sigh.) Upon my return from a three-week wedding/honeymoon extravaganza, my anxiety has risen to its previous level, which for me means it's time to research systems! I'm a huge Lifehacker fan, natch, as well as 43 Folders, and lately, Slate has gotten into the systems game with "Lifehacking tips from the rich, the famous, and the just plain interesting." They're good tips, absolutely worth reading, but here's the one I really enjoyed.

Prioritize. In a word, that is what too many of us fail to do too often. When the proverbial to-do list is too big for the memory on your laptop, it is time to step back and say "What really matters?" Too often we don't take that simple step, getting consumed by the papers that happen to rise to the top, rather than by the issues that matter most. Ask the really hard questions about what is worth doing at all and why. After that, there is nothing like an incipient deadline and three cups of coffee to get the job done. Forget the herbal tea; double espresso wins the day.

From which famous person, you ask? Eliot Spitzer. Who would've guessed that was his secret?

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