Want to get more done? Stop doing THIS!

Written by  //  May 26, 2015  //  Daily Juice  //  No comments

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I’ve been reading a fabulous book called Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Lessby Greg McKeown. If you’re super busy and staring down at a to-do list that will never get done, you’ll love this book! It’s all about doing more by doing less and oh goodness, it’s kinda common-sense meets super-smart, and it’s totally doable. Read it, you’ll love it!

permission to stop

Early on in the book McKeown tells a story about a guy who was “majoring in minor activities”. He was spending all his time doing the little things (emails, organizing, posting, coffee catch-ups…) but not making any real progress on the business front. Oh dear. That sounded familiar. I’ve been there. Have you too?!

So here’s the best way to find out if you are Majoring in the Minors. And how to stop doing it if you are!

How to know if you’re majoring in minor activities

How do you know whether you’re Majoring in the Minors?! Well first of all, have a read of this.  It’ll remind you of what’s really important to your business and what’s just minor stuff (the ‘not-importants’ in the article)

Now, the absolutely totally BESTEST way to find out if you are Majoring in the Minors, is to start keeping a timesheet! I know, I know. Sounds so dull. But, honestly, there really is no better way of doing this and it is actually super-interesting to discover where all your time is going!

How to keep a very simple timesheet.

Just get a notebook and write down what you are working on every 15 minutes. Yes! Every 15 minutes! Well minor things are often quick so we need to keep a log of small units of time to capture them!

If you want some more info about keeping a Timesheet there’s lots here plus you can do the Timesheet “Recipes” in the Healthy Income Program for free if you ‘reserve a spot’ here! [No commitment to join!]

Try keeping your timesheet for a week and at the end of that time add up how much time each day you’ve spent on minor activities and how much time you’ve spent on major activities (the ‘important’ work). You’ll quickly know whether you’ve got the balance right!

Do you really need to keep a timesheet? Well YES! You can’t just guess this stuff because, as the Planning Fallacy tells us, we’re hopeless at estimating how long things take us! We. Need. Hard. Facts!

Righty-o! Now you’ve done the timesheet and think you *might* be Majoring in the Minors, how can you fix it? Well these three super-simple tips will help!

1. Ask yourself this question every 15 minutes

Set the timer on your phone to go off every 15 mins (or half an hour if that feels a bit much!) and when it rings ask yourself:

“Is this (work I’m doing) the totally most important thing I should be doing with my time right now?”

This is super- simple but doing it totally changed the way I work! Might do the same for you too!

my time right now

2. Timebox admin tasks

Timeboxing is a fabulous way of keeping the minor stuff under control. It’s super simple, just:

  1. Pick a task you want to get done (like emails, say)
  2. Decide how long you want to spend doing it
  3. Set your timer for that amount of time
  4. Start doing the task and stop when the timer rings

I know this might not sound very a-m-a-z-i-n-g, but when you set a time limit for your work it makes you super-efficient and it stops the minor stuff creeping into the rest of your day!

3. Think about hiring a VA or other help

I know! I know! You don’t want to pay for a Virtual Assistant plus you’re doing just fine fitting the admin stuff in right now, so what’s the point?!

Well all that admin-y minor stuff is taking time away from you doing the important work. Y’know, the work that’s tough but will make your business healthier/bigger/profitable.

Hmm, put that way, do you really have time to do the minor stuff?! Or would you better getting someone to do it for you?! Here’s an oldish (but still relevant!) post on what to outsource, when to do it and how YOU can afford it! Really!

♡ Are you majoring in minors? ♡

Do you think you’re majoring in minors? D’you think you can change it? How do you keep focussed on the important stuff? Tell us in the comments!


If you enjoyed this you might like our weekly Snacks! It’s a lovely email newsy thing with bits and bobs to help you make a Healthy Income from your small business. It’s FREE and you can get it here!


Just that book again in case you want it!




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