In his book The New Rules of Management, Peter Cook writes about implementing projects that matter. One of the key principles I learned from him is the concept of ‘fighting for three’. He writes, ‘Fight for three sessions a day of productive work on your big projects. Three 30-minute to one-hour blocks of your best work is much better than 16 hours of responding to requests, shuffling emails, following systems and getting stuff done’.
You, me, Bill Gates, the Pope — we all have the same amount of time in our week. What we do with that time is the critical factor, and how passionately we fight for what is truly important can make the difference.
If the important things you want to achieve are not in front of you, you can easily lose sight of them and be distracted by the bright, shiny busy work in your inbox. We all have outcomes we want or need to achieve. There are not that many of them, and we know what they are. But we fall into the trap of mentally ‘shelving’ them, trying just to hold them in our head.