The Most Important Thing You Can Do to Be More Productive—An Interview with Peter Bregman

By: Peter Bregman's Podcast: Marketing & Selling Professional Services

Have you ever found yourself exhausted at the end of the day, but you haven't made a dent in your work? You aren't alone. Every day we are bombarded with distractions and pulled away from the important things we should do. We have time and attention temptations, says Peter Bregman, author of the new book 18 Minutes.

One of the biggest temptations is email. We feel we have to answer each email immediately.

"The worst thing we could possibly do is answer every single email when it comes in," Bregman says. "Because if you get any number of emails that most of us get, all you will be doing is answering emails and you'll never be able to focus more than 10 minutes on something."

18 Minutes by Peter BregmanIf you want to be more productive, stop being a slave to email.

You can further improve your productivity by taking 18 minutes each day to create focus lists and a plan to accomplish what's on that list, Bregman says. Based on your yearly goals, spend five minutes in the morning to create your focus lists, one minute each hour evaluating if you're working on important things, and five minutes at the end of the day evaluating what went right and what went wrong.

"If you do it all in the morning, two hours later when you've gotten sucked into your barrage of email, you're going to lose it," he says. "One of the most important elements is you're creating moments of time throughout the day where you stop and make sure you're focusing and doing the things you need to be doing."

Listen as Bregman discusses why you shouldn't try to get everything done, the importance of ignore lists, and how to create a focus plan so you're more productive.


  • Length:
  • 14:34