Tim Ferris: The 9-5 Illusion & The Parkinson’s Law – Questions & Actions

“The key to having more time is doing less, and there are two paths to getting there, both of which should be used together: (1) Define a to-do list and (2) define a not-to-do list. In general terms, there are but two questions:

What 20% of sources are causing 80% of my problems and unhappiness?
What 20% of sources are resulting in 80% of my desired outcome and happiness?”

  1. If you had a heart attack and can only work two hours a day, what would you do?

Ask yourself….really, sit down and ponder exactly what would you do.  If you had to report to work and tell your boss you could only work two hours a day, what would happen? A lot of you right now are thinking, “THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE! NO WAY!” Well, if I also told you that you could function normally with four hours of sleep every night, would you do it? Nope.  However, mothers do it all the time.

      2. If you had a gun to your head and had to remove 4/5 of the time consuming activities that you were engaged in, what would you remove?

“Simplicity requires ruthlessness. If you had to stop ⅘ of time-consuming activities—e-mail, phone calls, conversations, paperwork, meetings, advertising, customers, suppliers, products, services, etc.—what would you eliminate to keep the negative effect on income to a minimum? Used even once per month, this question alone can keep you sane and on track.” – Tim Ferris

 3.What are the top-three activities that you use to fill your time to feel that you’ve been productive?

These are the things that we do that usually postpones so many more important activities.  Obviously the first and unanimous number one would be the phone.  Yes, the cell phone.  The first thing the majority of mankind looks at when they wake up.  How about the other two?

4. Who are the 20% of people who produce 80% of your enjoyment and propel you forward, and which 20% cause 80% of your depression, anger, and second-guessing?

I did this particular one a year ago without even reading this book.  Those people who are poisonous.  The sloths of mankind.  The ones who literally gossip, talk behind your back and act as if they’re your friend the next day.  Remove all of these splinters and you’ll be much better off and happier with yourself.  Drop them like a bad habit.  Over the years, especially working in three different countries, I’ve worked with people who make exponentially more than me, yet they’re still unhappy and seem to bicker about me.  These types of people don’t serve you whatsoever; however, the idea that they’re talking about you would ultimately bug you to death….try resolving it or steer clear of the ones on the continuous rag.   Also, you have the people who try talking to you just to get information out of you in terms of what you’re doing so they can relay message over to the “bitch” group.  You will also have friends who were once friends and suddenly they just change and give you attitude, workplace or even at school….because they too, have been sucked into the dark abyss.

5. Learn to ask yourself, “if I accomplish this only this today, would today be considered a success?”

This could be mundane.  This could be the task where you have to report somewhere to do something you SERIOUSLY don’t want to do.  Or, it could also be a big task that you could ultimately chip away on.

There should never be more than two mission-critical items to complete each day. Never. It just isn’t necessary if they’re actually high-impact. If you are stuck trying to decide between multiple items that all seem crucial, as happens to all of us, look at each in turn and ask yourself, If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day?
To counter the seemingly urgent, ask yourself: What will happen if I don’t do this, and is it worth putting off the important to do it? If you haven’t already accomplished at least one important task in the day, don’t spend the last business hour returning a DVD to avoid a $5 late charge. Get the important task done and pay the $5 fine. – Tim Ferris

More on my podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/11313188

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About thearseniobuckshow

An English teacher, entrepreneur, writer, and speaker living in Thailand. For those people who are looking into becoming entrepreneurs, personal development, food/health, and even students who are looking at taking test preparation courses - this blog and website (soon) will feature all of it!