Tim Ferriss, writer of the book “The 4-Hour Workweek“, has published a list of the 9 habits you have to stop now to become more productive.
I totally agree with his list, and have more or less been applying this in my everyday life for a while now. The list goes as follows (with my comments):
1. Do not answer calls from unrecognized phone numbers: I rarely ever answer a phone call by a number I don’t recognize, some people think it’s wrong of me to do so, but personally I think that if that someone is a person I want to hear from I’d surely have his number saved. Of course out of the times I do reply, there is a small percentage of times it turns out the person is someone I want to hear from, but well I’m comfortable with the odds.
2. Do not e-mail first thing in the morning or last thing at night: I always try to avoid early-morning or late-evening emails, unless it’s something I’ve already thought out well and only the actual writing of the email is left.
3. Do not agree to meetings or calls with no clear agenda or end time: I do my best to avoid these, they’re such a waste of time, but well sometimes you can’t but help get dragged into one, and that’s when I try to apply the next point…
4. Do not let people ramble: Sometimes you just have to step in, take hold of the conversation and take it straight to the point; or else people will just keep on rambling and wasting time with no end in sight.
5. Do not check e-mail constantly