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For some people, blocking a big chunk of time to do deep work feels intimidating.

If that’s you, I have a quick tip that will take you 10 minutes or less:

Today, approach your to-do list or email inbox with only one of the following four options (don’t allow yourself to get away with any other choice!):

  • Do: Follow through on the task.
  • Dump: Acknowledge that the task is no longer a priority and drop it.
  • Delegate: Outsource the task to a colleague, assistant, friend, partner, or contractor.
  • Delay: Intentionally push a task to a later date. (Be sure to schedule a time to revisit it so that it doesn’t extend indefinitely.)

We call this the Do, Dump, Delegate, Delay principle—DDDD, for short. My clients love it so much that they write it on a sticky note and put it on their computer. No more tasks and emails hanging out in no man’s land, draining your energy.