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Getting a lot of work done

The day before an exam is the day the amount of studying that is done by students spikes up several fold. The week before Diwali (or Christmas in the western world) is when shopping activity spikes up several fold. The months leading up to warm summers is when the number of people working out at the gym spikes up. The week before Valentine's Day is when purchase of flowers and greeting card spikes up.

When called to action, we tend to get a lot of work done in a short span of time.

But alas, we give up control on when we are called to action to marketers, people around us and general stimuli around us. And none of these people care about (or even understand) what is really important to us.

As a result, we end up getting a lot done in a short span of time where what we get done rarely adds real value to us or pushes in the direction we would like ourselves to progress in.

As a result, we respond to emails, to text messages and look through all the notifications from the many apps on our phones the first thing after waking up. We scramble to return emails and respond to messages on Slack while at work. We attend meetings without having a clear idea of what the expected outcome at the end of it is.

But, we get a lot of work done.

What if we take up the responsibility for setting the agenda? What if we stopped handing over the scheduling of when we are called to action? What if we decide when we want to be called to action?

That is when we set the foundation for doing deep work in the direction that matters to us. That is when we begin to make progress on the things that are important to us.

In order to make this happen, we need to think deliberately about what matters to us and what we care about. This is where goal setting plays a key role.

A man with no goals defaults to the goal of clicking on the next shiny thing to occupy his time.

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