The Most Productive People Know Whom to Ignore

by Ed Batista

A coaching client of mine is managing partner at a very large law firm, and one of the issues we’ve been working on is how to cope more effectively with the intense demands on his time—clients who expect him to be available, firm partners and other employees who want him to address their concerns and resolve disputes, an inbox overflowing with messages from these same (and still other!) people, and an endless to-do list. Compounding this challenge, of course, is the importance of making time for loved ones and friends, exercise, and other personal needs.

When faced with potentially overwhelming demands on our time, we’re often advised to “Prioritize!” as if that’s some sort ...

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