Organize Your Life in 18 Minutes

Author Peter Bregman shares his strategy for prioritizing.
8:33 | 01/20/12

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Transcript for Organize Your Life in 18 Minutes
Do you feel like you're biting off more than you continue or make commitments you just can't see we'll -- help -- out is Peter Bregman author of the book eighteen minutes. Find your focus mastered distraction and get the right thing done Peter welcome that's a big -- -- in the title of that. And the -- at work into the new year which -- a time -- a lot of us start slipping in our New Year's resolutions you say that that's followed through and not lack of motivation that trips -- up. Yeah you know -- undermine a guy named Byron emailed me and -- not really -- -- -- help with my motivation I really wanna work out I've really been thinking about -- -- -- you know capital letters. And and I thought about it I thought you know. You're actually perfectly motivated most of us are motivated we come back to the same resolutions over and over again right here really really want them. We want to lose weight we want to be more successful -- presentation whatever it is. It's not motivation it's followed for. Right and the problem is the motivation. Is in the mind motivation is something that you really want something a convincing yourself refining. But follow through is in the practices. To follow through is the mind gets in the way with file for you wake up in the morning and you think you can I was ready to work out that. -- kind of -- hired and you know maybe I -- to sleep a little more in your mind is getting in the way follow through is about ignoring the mine and thing I've committed to do something and I'm just gonna do. So it's an action -- it's about and that leads to the title of your book eighteen minutes why is eighteen minutes the magic number. It's eighteen minutes is actually broken out over a day and it's 5 minutes in the morning a minute each hour and -- 5 minutes in the evening. And it's a way of both understanding what it is you need to do and then keeping yourself on track so for 5 minutes in the morning. I think about what is it that I really need to get done today. I look at my to do us tonight I do to do with -- a different -- than most people but I look at it. And the first thing -- doing this -- minutes -- transfer things from like to do list on to my calendar and tremendous amount of evidence that points to the fact. That if you decide when. And where you're gonna do something you'll do you'll do -- and that's and that's just keeping it on -- to -- -- for two years -- -- -- that's exactly -- -- -- you -- transferred -- Then that's 5 minutes in the morning then what one minute each hour I have my watch -- For one minute and I take a deep breath announcements of 2 questions am -- doing what I'm most need to be doing right now and -- my being my most wanna be right. You have a chat like every hour about how little -- that goes up that makes you think in my doing -- -- -- -- that's exactly right now that it's it. It's an infant has -- amount of time into one minute per hour you can work the other 159 minutes. But this allows you to come back from the inevitable distractions that take -- off base. I can't tell you how many times I've my watch -- -- I'm on YouTube. The -- -- and -- -- right and. -- the -- -- a stop -- a defect and then at the end of it and -- -- Andrea -- five minutes at the end of the day. To look back and say what worked what didn't work what I want to do differently tomorrow and then my little thing which -- love to do is they think about is there -- when they need to update. To think to show gratitude. Just a little way of wrapping up my -- -- contract that's been nice man like that. And you say there are five things you should choose to focus on that -- also hope you stay on track right got it it's it's. It's so easy to get distracted by the number of things we have to do -- a friend of mine was starting a new job. And she got into the office -- never worked there before it was completely new companies she got she booted up her computer he used the password that they had governor. -- you already have 385 email messages waiting for that right is overwhelming yes we can't the biggest myth of time management is that you can get it all done. The -- -- you cannot get at all and so what -- house yet clear and we have to make very strategic decisions about what you wanna do and what you don't wanna do things that you want to ignore. And for me somehow trial and error five big things that I want to focus on for the year has become my magic number five. Five things that these this is an -- break up my to do with the -- I have what's called -- six bucks to do -- in the first five boxes are each of those five things and the sixth box is called the other 5%. And when I first started keeping it to -- -- 95% of what I was doing with and the other 5%. I was avoiding the things that were most important for me to get done within a couple of days of using this to do list. I began to focus really on what are those top five things and that will be the title of your next book. I think it's great -- that some common things that people should think about for these five things a year that they should. So for me I decide. On personals. I put everything on -- -- -- personal and business. And what I realizes I looked at what -- five things where -- is that I have some things fir that are immediate for now something's mid term and something's long terms that give you an example. For me current clients is my first box -- he -- make sure that I'm doing good work that's now that's the clients and a -- second box for me is growing my business that's mid term rest a little bit out there it's still within the year I'm gonna see results from it. There's a third box that's called creative writing might I do a tremendous amount of writing. But I don't really do this creative think of the story maybe throw some magic -- -- That's really long term I'm not expecting a return from that but I'm gonna start doing -- so that eventually I can get a book out that sort of more fanciful than the books that I normally right. Then I have another one which relates to any one of the things for me it's to speak and write about my ideas which is what I'm doing now check. And and then and then the last is nurture myself and my family to make sure that I'm doing things for myself. That and for my family that really kind of connect to mind the purpose that I'm I'm here for my. Part of being able to focus on these five schools once you've established it is not getting distracted and you talk in your book about mastering distractions which is so arguing you've got three -- -- fifty email staring you Cesar Blackberry and on your iPhone through an on your PC market. Pretty -- it. And not just that then you have you know Blackberry messenger and your Gmail any of that -- texting and it's it's nonstop and into it's free and you can't exactly we have got to learn to -- now we've got to become much much better thing -- used to be. That you know in the 1970s in the 1980s -- the ninety's it was like yes yes yes to everything create opportunity. -- now I feel like -- sculptors with our lives. And there's this rough rock and we have to chip away to get it yet because Michelangelo -- that may be wrong about this but that. That you know he just on and covers. -- sculpture inside the rough rock we have to kind of uncover our lives and we do that by chipping away at the things that don't matter to us right. And that it's as important to decide. Actively what we're going to ignore. As it is to say what we're gonna focus -- into the world at this point we'll take what it can from us there's no between marketers in between your boss and between. You know your your partners or whatever it is. The world will take but he can't so it's never been so important to be strategically. Intentional about what we want to put on world. Finally you same never quit diet light reading does. And I metaphor for something and it is an act actually -- -- -- metaphorical and literature not quit your diet while you're reading -- -- -- There are taught you know we only need motivation alert that's actually when I was -- -- -- -- -- and it was pouring rain. And I was sitting under the awning of my apartment building and -- thinking this is crazy and then go for an hour bike ride in the -- Finally I got myself out. Within a minute of getting myself I -- -- it it didn't matter I was already so -- -- you know soaking wet it didn't it didn't really matter that it was raining anymore. And what I realize is how we needed to be motivated for. A minute to get myself out into the rain that's it. I wasn't gonna stop ten minutes into the ride I was -- say you know this is stupid and go home I'm already committed I'm in there and doing it. So there's certain points when we need to be motivated when -- when you wake up in the morning that point that I talked about you wake up. You're deciding to -- go to the gym or not. It's the what you need to be motivated went through the -- you're there you have to be motivated anymore so motivation. Is not as necessary as we think it is. And following through far far more important and what eighteen minutes is about is creating practices. To help you follow through so that your mind doesn't get in the way of the things that you really want to get them. Really interesting look at life that I think would work for a lot of people. Peter Bregman the author of eighteen minutes thank you so much Peter my pleasure.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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