Welcome to Car Talk. This is not talking about cars. This is talking inside of a car. Today’s topic is about getting things done. People do ask me, from time to time, how it is I get as much done as I do, and I used to not think about it a whole lot, but in some ways, it probably is true. I think I do get more done than a lot of people in similar situations, perhaps, or I mean not that, but from average Joes, I think I’m kind of a high achieving type. So, anyway, but how to get things done, and I have been thinking about it a lot and trying to break it down into my mind what it is I actually do on my thought process on things. So I’m gonna share that with you today, some of the things that I use to get more things done. Keep in mind, if you’re already getting everything done you want to get done, fantastic.

You don’t have to listen to this at all, but if you’re not, maybe something I share will help a little bit. One is an obvious one. It’s very obvious, but it’s overlooked a lot of times. You cut out distractions. That means you don’t look at YouTube cat videos during the day, you don’t kill time on Facebook, you don’t read articles, you don’t do a lot of things that waste time during the day. Now, that might sound stupid, but it’s also obviously, blatantly true, and I don’t have any numbers to back that up, but I bet hours a day, out of people’s eight to nine hour shift, multiple hours are spent on useless things like that, so if you cut that out, you might get one or two hours more productivity out of the same day. Two, you’re gonna want to look at where you have losses in efficiency. A lot of times, it’s the transitions where you have the most downtime. Like, I’m on my feet a lot, during the day. If I spend too much time going from the shipping area to my computer, I waste, probably, five or 10 seconds every time. You do it a hundred times a day, you’ve wasted a few minutes, every day. Now, that’s not a lot, but if you take, if you can say five minutes a day in the course of a month, adds a couple of extra hours of work than that one, so watch your downtime, and you have to do a lot. If you can group similar tasks together, you can minimize that transition time.

If you’ve got to do a lot of stuff on your computer, you can bam, bam, one after the next, one after the next. Even the little things like switching windows, the Alt+Tab, through the window to window. On Windows, if you can minimize that, it’s all time, it’s all time. Keyboard shortcuts, which is time spent copying and pasting. These little things, there’s typing faster. I’m lucky, I took a typing class back in high school who paid off 10,000 fold, but the transition time, time in between tasks can often be lessened or eliminated. If you would spend a little bit of time looking at them, then they can pay off indefinitely. Let’s see, what else? Don’t be afraid to get up early or stay up late. Now, that’s just how it goes, but not everyone is eager to get up early. Not everyone is eager to stay up late. Maybe that doesn’t apply to you, but that’s hours of the day you can often lose, and it might not be getting up at three or four, but maybe you get up an hour earlier, or maybe stay up an hour later. I don’t do it anymore, but for years, I would put my wife and kids, they would all go to bed, and then I would work for another hour or two. Just typical routine, and I would get up before them the next day. My little girl would go, “Daddy, do you ever sleep?” “No. You’ve never seen me sleep, have you?” But I do sleep, and I don’t stay up as late anymore now.

I can … Because I did all that before I was doing this stuff full-time, buT don’t be afraid to stay up a little bit later or get up a little bit earlier. What else? Don’t spend a whole lot of time on things that don’t matter a whole lot. There’s lots of little things that people want to have perfect, and perfection is great, but done is better. Somebody, it might have been Mark Zuckerberg, I don’t know, super high, ultra achiever, always says that done is better than perfect, and perfection is a great thing to push for and obtain, but you’re also never gonna get it. You’re never gonna get it. You’re never gonna get it, so you have to realize, just like when I was in school, I was fortunate that school was never super hard for me, because I could half-ass and get a B, and I always thought, “What is the point of crazy to get an A, when I can do almost nothing and get a B?” What is the different increase? Is it justifiable?

So, make sure that what you’re gonna get out of something is justifiable to the work you put in, so you’ve gotta spend an extra five or 10 minutes on something, make sure you’re gonna get something out of it, because you might not, and you very well might, but you might not, and those little things add up, too. So, those are probably my top four things off … And this is improvised, here. I didn’t expect to enumate these, but don’t spend time on things that don’t matter. See, that’s not even the right word. The first one is, don’t waste time during the day, so you don’t waste time on YouTube and Facebook and Twitter, because all that’s gonna do is eat up an hour or two of your day before you even realize it. Two, you are going to want to minimize your transition times. Let’s see … Three, be willing to get up a little early, or stay up a little bit later.l maybe not hours and hours. Maybe half an hour, maybe and then see what kind of difference you get.

And four, don’t put all the effort into making something A-level work when B-level work will suffice just fine, because not every inch you are closer to excellence is going to pay off for the time you have to put into it to get there, because sometimes B-level work is okay. Sometimes A-level work’s required, but sometimes, the work work make a B an A, it’s just not worth it. So, those are Tyler’s four ideas, today. These are from my own experience, because people have asked me how it is I get done what I get done, throughout the day, and how I get so much done, and those are things that I use to help me get more done. I hope one of any of those are some value to you, and maybe you’d get a little bit more done tomorrow, or today, because of some of the experience I’ve had. Car Talk, Tyler Douthitt.