I underestimate the power of deadlines and scheduling.

Identify the few critical tasks that contribute most to your PERSONAL METRIC (income, learning, fame, etc.) and schedule them with very short and clear deadlines.

If you haven’t identified the mission-critical tasks and set aggressive start and end times for their completion, the unimportant becomes the important. Even if you know what’s critical, without deadlines that create focus, the minor tasks forced upon you (or invented, in the case of the entrepreneur) will swell to consume time until another bit of minutiae jumps in to replace it, leaving you at the end of the day with nothing accomplished.

  • How else could dropping off a package at UPS, setting a few appointments, and checking e-mail consume an entire 9–5 day?

Source: Ferriss, Timothy. The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated (pp. 96-97). Harmony/Rodale. Kindle Edition.