Part of being effective during the hours you choose to work is developing to spend real time on what’s important even if other things – including, frequently, your own bad habits try to shove you off course.
So the first step is to be as clear as possible on your priorities. What do you want to accomplish in your life’s work? Make a list of them. Go through and highlight the ones that are most important to you professionally. Then you can start figuring out what actionable steps it will take to get there.
As you work towards your dream list, try to figure out what actions you can do to achieve your priorities in the next 10 years, 5 years, and in the next year. We do not have much time.
Start thinking of the time ahead as ‘billable hours’ . Assume you have say 2000 or 3000 hours, not an endless time frame to achieve your list. This perspective change has had a focusing effect on me and also helps me from not checking facebook updates every 60 seconds.
Finally, once you make a commitment to yourself, you better honour it. Never miss a deadline and follow through on anything you say as a matter of personal integrity. Many excuses and emergencies are, in the broad sense forseeable. Anticipate and overcome them. Again the world is not going to make it easy for you to stick to your priorities, but don’t let your weakness contribute to the problem.