The Art of Making Time: Elimination

Whats Best Next -PermanSill looking at chapter 17 of Matt Perman’s book What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done (Zondervan, 2014), we are learning about “The Art of Making Time.”

The first strategy for doing this, Permans says, is to delegate. The second strategy is elimination (recall the acronym DEAD: Delegate, Eliminate, Automate, and Defer). This is what Perman (in part) has to say on this:

In addition to delegating tasks and responsibilities, we can utilize a second strategy for reducing our workload: elimination. Elimination has two components: getting rid of tasks that don’t need to be done and, when doing a task, eliminating the parts of the task that aren’t necessary.

In that connection, he suggests combining two common productivity principles or laws – the 80/20 Principle, which “states that 80 percent of your productivity comes from 20 percent of your tasks. Hence, identify the things that fall into the ‘trivial many’ so you can devote more time to the ‘vital few.’

Along with that is Parkinson’s Law, which “states that a task will generally expand to fill the time allotted for it. …Hence, to keep your tasks from taking longer than they need to, reduce the time you allow for doing them.”

But then, Perman says that it is best to combine these two principles to get the best way to eliminate tasks from our schedules:

Each of these principles is powerful in its own. But the magic happens when you combine them to harness the power of both together. Here’s how to do this: Decrease the number of tasks you have to do by eliminating what is not important (the 80/20 Principle), and then force yourself to focus only on the essential parts of those tasks by giving yourself tight deadlines (Parkinson’s Law). This limits what you do to what is most essential, and then within that framework, you are forced to do your tasks in the most efficient way (p.236).

More good thoughts for us to consider as we seek to do our best things next.