Design Your Day: Be More Productive, Set Better Goals, and Live Life On Purpose
Author: Claire Diaz-Ortiz
This book is another great one to add to your “how to be productive” reading list. Ortiz references The 4-Hour Workweek and Eat That Frog! in this book and reiterates some of their key concepts. She also provides actionable steps for setting goals and smashing them. It’s a quick read, but every page is completely filled with value bomb after value bomb.
The Do Less Method
This first section is all about taking your time back. Too many people spend too much of their time being busy, but not necessarily productive. Ortiz spends a lot of time explaining how to rid oneself of the busywork people fill their calendars with and how to put that time to better use. The first step in doing that is deciding what, in fact, is important to you. What goals have you set for yourself this year? What do you want to accomplish? Ortiz suggests getting an idea notebook to get yourself started on your journey to reaching your goals. You will write down every idea that comes to mind in this notebook. Once you have a handful of ideas written, then it’s time to turn those ideas into actionable steps toward a goal, specifically a “S.M.A.R.T. goal.”
I first learned what a S.M.A.R.T. goal was about a year ago when studying for my N.A.S.M. personal trainer’s certificate. A lot of you may already be familiar with what a S.M.A.R.T. goal is. For those that aren’t, the acronym is as follows:
- S – Specific. Your goals should be very clear and concise. For example, you can’t just say “I want to be healthier.” That’s too vague. Where do you start? What do you consider “healthier?” Try going with something like “I want to lose 10 pounds” or “I want to be able to run 5 miles without stopping.”
- M – Measurable. You need to be able to track your progress along the way to achieving your goal. Just like in my last example, you can’t measure “healthier,” but you can measure the distance you run without stopping.
- A – Actionable. This refers to steps you can take one-by-one to accomplish your goal. With the running example, maybe you can run a tenth of a mile further every day until you reach five miles.
- R – Relevant. Your goals should make sense and be in alignment with who you are.
- T – Timely. Give yourself a timeline. When do you need to have what done?
Who’s read my review on The 4-Hour Workweek? Do you remember the 80/20 principle Tim Ferriss uses in his business and his personal life? Well, Ortiz uses it too. Weird right? Two successful authors are using the same principle to accomplish their own goals. If you haven’t read my review on The 4-Hour Workweek and are not sure what the 80/20 principle is, I’ll give you a quick overview. Ask yourself which 20% of your actions are causing 80% of your anxiety or stress? Figure them out and stop doing those actions. Which 20% of your actions are resulting in 80% of your happiness? Do more of those. That was super oversimplified, but it should get the point across enough for you to understand the idea behind the 80/20 principle.
Ortiz goes over many other topics involved with goal-setting. She talks about activity lists and outsourcing (just like Tim Ferriss did in The 4-Hour Workweek.) She also gives a list of tools to use for tracking how much time you spend on different activities to find out how productive you are actually being. All-in-all, I think Ortiz crafted a great book for any person trying to get themselves on track for whatever they are looking to accomplish.
Have you read this book? What have you gotten out of Ortiz’s suggestions and principles? Let’s start a conversation.