One of my favorite productivity reads of 2011 was 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman. Mr. Bregman assembled his book from his highly popular Harvard Business Review blog, and he endeavors to give insights and highly practical tips for just what the title states...and he delivers. In this episode, a summary of his concept of the 18-minute day, a powerful concept anyone can use for a more highly-productive and fulfilled life.
Five minutes at the beginning and ending of the day, plus one minute of every 8-hour workday equates to his 18 Minute Ritual.
1) At the beginning of the day, decide what you'll do today and calendar it.
2) Check in every hour with yourself. As Peter notes, "manage your day hour by hour. Don't let the hours manage you."
3) The end of day ritual.
1. How did the day go? What success did I experience? What challenges did I endure?
2. What did I learn today? About myself? About others? What do I plan to do differently or the same tomorrow?
3. Whom did I interact with? (Actions: And I need to update? Or thank? Or ask a question? Or share feedback?)
(Bregman gives this "end of day" ritual 5 minutes but it always takes me more time than that. Notwithstanding, there's his 18 minutes.)
Paraphrasing the author about this "end of day" ritual, "These minutes" of reflection and quick actions "are the way to making tomorrow even better than today."
I'll leave you with my favorite quotation in the book from Peter Bregman.
"The world doesn't reward perfection/ It rewards productivity."