Manage your day in just 18 minutes

f31b6e4a0295f9292ddbe79c3c20c97a

Many of us have had days when 5 o’clock rolls around and we have little to show for it. In his new book “18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done,” management consultant Peter Bregman teaches that it’s not about tackling everything on our plate — it’s about choosing what to put our energy into.

“We love to procrastinate, and distraction is the golden ring of procrastination because we think we are getting things done,” he says. “We are answering 40 e-mails and we think we have been incredibly productive until we stop and say, ‘Did I really need to answer all of those e-mails?’ In a world that will take what it can from us we need to be more strategic than ever about what we want to give it.”
His 18-minute plan can help you figure out how to best manage your workday. Allow him to explain.

Take five minutes in the morning: “The five minutes in the morning is to get centered and ask yourself, ‘What is it that I most want to accomplish today?’ I  transfer those things onto my calendar.
There is a tremendous amount of evidence that points to the fact that if you decide when and where you are going to do something, you’ll do it. If you just say, ‘I am going to do it sometime today,’ you won’t end up doing it. So there I am really deciding what I want to get done and where I am going to do it.”

Take one minute every hour:
“Every hour I stop for one minute and ask myself two questions: ‘Am I spending my time in the right way right now?’ And: ‘Am I being who I most want to be right now?’ Those two questions end up being this fantastic productive interruption. Those questions will bring me back to ‘What is that I am trying to accomplish for the day?’”

Take five minutes at the end of the day: “At the end of the day I spend five minutes and ask myself, ‘What I did I learn from today? What worked, what didn’t work?’ Then also, who I want to ask a question to, who I want to update, who I want to thank for something they did to me. I think of these as my learning minutes and my gratitude minutes.”

Follow Meredith Engel on Twitter @MeredithatMetro.
 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Pennsylvania police shooter manhunt near home of suspect's…

A police manhunt intensified on Friday for the gunman who killed an officer and wounded another in an ambush at a Pennsylvania police barracks a week ago.

Local

MAP: New York City street closures, September 19,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on September 19, 20 and 21. There will be many streets and…

Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Movies

Kevin Smith makes peace with the Internet

I was thinking about Ain't It Cool News and Harry Knowles last night, wondering if anyone from Ain't It Cool had reviewed my new movie…

Movies

Art imitates life in 'Swim Little Fish Swim'

There's a certain comfort to be taken in finding that young artists are still moving to New York and trying to make it — and…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

NFL

Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.

NFL

Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.

NFL

Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

MLB

Derek Jeter still focused on baseball as final…

Derek Jeter has effectively hid his emotions for 20 years in the Bronx.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…