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We each have 96 energy blocks each day to spend however we’d like. Using this energy blocking system will ensure you’re spending each block wisely to make the most progress on your most important goals.

我们每天能够随意支配的energy block一共有96个。通过运用这个energy block系统,我们能够确保每一个energy block都运用得当,并在重要的目标上取得最大进展。

Warren Buffett “ruled out paying attention to almost anything but business—art, literature, science, travel, architecture—so that he could focus on his passion,” wrote Alice Schroder in her book The Snowball. This isn’t unique to Warren Buffett. Almost all of the successful people I know follow a similar approach to focusing their efforts.

Alice Schorder在《Snowbal》这本书写到,“ 沃伦巴非特专注于艺术、文学、科学、旅行和建筑,并没有把精力分散到其他地方,这使得他能够更专注于自己感兴趣和热爱的事物 ”。这个行为并不是只出现在沃伦巴非特身上,我所认识到的绝大部分成功人士都是采取类似的方法来集中精力做事情。

The key to better outcomes is not working harder. Most of us already work long hours. We take work home, we’re always on, we tackle anything we’re asked to do, and we do it to the best of our ability. It doesn’t seem to matter how many things we check off our to-do lists or how many hours we work, though; our performance doesn’t seem to improve.

改善当前状况的方法并不是更加卖力地工作。我们绝大多数人的工作时间已经足够长了,甚至有些人还是996的作息。我们把工作带回家、我们几乎一直在线、我们处理任何被要求做的事情,并且对于每一件事情,我们都竭尽全力。仔细想想,我们并没有得到多大的提升,这跟我们完成了多少todo列表里的事情或者花费多少时间工作没有多大的关系。

While we like to think of exceptionally successful people as being more talented than we are, the more I looked around, the more I discovered that was rarely the case. One of the reasons we think that talent is the explanation is that it gives us a pass. We’re not as talented as those super-successful people are, so of course we don’t have the same results they have. The problem with this explanation is that it’s wrong. Talent matters, of course, but not as much as you think.

然而,每当遇到这种情况,我们总会去想,这些成功人士比我们更聪明、更有才能。但是,当我环顾我身边的人,我发现这种情况只是极少数。我们之所以这样想,其实是把这个当成一个借口来逃避。我们总是认为自己不如那些天资聪明、有能力的人,所以自己一事无成也是理所当然的。然而,这个观念是错误的,天资、才能是很重要,但是并不是你想的那样起绝对作用。

As I looked around, I noticed that the most successful people I know have one thing in common: they are masters at eliminating the unnecessary from their lives. The French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry hit on the same idea, writing in his memoir, “Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.” This principle, it turns out, is the key to success.

根据我的观察,我注意到大部分成功的人士,都有一个共同特点:他们都擅长于做减法,而不是加法,擅长剔除生活中不重要的事情。法国作家Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 也提出了类似的想法,他在自己的回忆录中写道“当你不再继续做加法,也不再需要做减法的时候,你就最终能达到完美了。”这个原则,道出了成功的关键。

Incredibly successful people focus their time on just a few priorities and obsess over doing things right. This is simple but not easy.

最让人难以置信的是,这些成功人士都把时间集中在优先的事情上,专注于把事情做好。这个看似简单,但是要做到却很不容易。

Here’s one method to help you choose what to focus on and how to use your time (it’s a mix of time blocking and a variation of Warren Buffet’s two-list system):

这里有个方法可以帮助你选择专注于什么以及如何有效利用时间(这个方法混合了time blocking和沃伦巴菲特的two-list系统)。

Step 1: Change how you think about your day. Think of your day as having 96 blocks of energy, with each block being a 15-minute chunk of time (four blocks per hour × 24 hours = 96). A week has 672 blocks, and a year has 34,944.

Step1:改变你对一天的看法。把一天分成96个energy blocks,每个energy block代表15分钟(每小时代表4个energy block,一天24小时一共96个)。一周就有672个energy block,一年有34966个energy block。

Not all of those blocks are direct productivity blocks — they can’t be unless we’re androids. Given that we’re human, we need to allocate some blocks to activities that humans require for good health, like sleeping. Sleeping for eight hours uses 32 blocks of your 96-block day. Let’s say that another 32 blocks go toward family, friends, commuting, and general life stuff. That leaves 32 blocks for you to apply your energy toward keeping your job and doing something amazing.

但是,并不是所有这些energy block都是有直接生产力的,要知道我们是作为一个个活生生的人,而不是机器人。所以,我们需要把一些energy block分配到日常的生活中,包括健康和睡眠。睡眠在一天96个block里面就需要占用32个block。而另外的32个block则需要用在陪伴家人、朋友、交流和日常生活上的琐事上。那么,最后就只剩下32个energy block给你用于工作和自己的事情上。

Think you can get more done by sleeping less? Think again. Sleep has a way of affecting your other blocks. If you get enough sleep, the other 64 blocks are amplified. If you don’t get enough, their efficacy is reduced. Almost every successful person I know makes sleep a priority. Some go as far as getting ChiliPads to regulate their bed’s temperature and going to bed at exactly the same time every night; others use the same wind-down routine every night. Almost all of them go to bed early (or least before 12), and wake up early to get a start on the day.

想要通过少睡点来做更多事情?再重新想想,睡眠时会影响到其他的block。如果睡眠充足,其他64个block就可以被充分的激活起来。如果你睡眠不足,就会导致其他block效率低下。我所认识的几乎所有成功人士都把谁买你放在第一位。有些人甚至使用ChiliPads 来调节床的温度,并且每晚再相同时间准时睡觉。其他人都采用类似的模式,他们所有人几乎都早睡早起开始新的一天(或至少12点之前)。

Step 2: Write a list of all the goals you have. When I did this, I stopped at 100 and I could have kept going. I would venture to guess that if you sat alone for half an hour, you’d come up with just as many. Writing them down not only frees up your mind from keeping track of them but also gives you a visual representation of just how many things you want to do.

Step2:把你的目标写成一个清单。我一般会写到100个后就停下来。我敢保证,你如果能够单独静下心来,花个半小时去想,你也能想到这么多。把这些事情写下来,不仅能让你思路清晰,还能让你清楚地知道自己想要做的事情有哪些。

Step 3: Circle your top three goals. Take your time; there’s no need to rush. It’s hard to narrow them down, which is why so few of us think about these things consciously.

Step3:找出其中Top3目标。这个可以慢慢来,不需要太着急。这3个目标一般很难取舍,这也是我们一般很少去思考这些事情的原因。

Step 4: Eliminate everything else. This is where things get interesting. When it comes to the 32 blocks of work time you have to allocate, everything that’s not on your top-three list should be dropped. You can pick up the “everything-else” list after you’ve achieved a goal, but until then it’s what Warren Buffet calls your “avoid-at-all-costs” list.

Step4:放下不重要的事情。这个是关键点。当你要给32个energy block做分配的时候,那些不是Step3中的确定的top3的事情可以统统先放下。在你达成目标以后,你可以重新制定“everything-else”清单,但是在那之前就是沃伦巴菲特说的“avoid-at-all-costs”清单。

专注的力量

Let’s look at an example. Say we’re working on 10 projects. We have priorities that we try to focus on, but we also give the other projects a decent effort. Let’s say we allocate our 32 blocks of energy to our 10 projects as follows:

让我们看一个例子。假设我们在做10个项目,并且我们对这些项目有一个优先级的顺序,会把大部分精力放在高优先级的项目上。但是,我们也需要在其他项目上花费一小部分的精力。如下图,是我们把32个energy block分配到10个项目上的示意图:

Not bad, eh? But if we do the above exercise, it will look more like this:

觉得不错,额。。。?如果我们按照上面说的方法去做,这个会变成这样:

Focus directs your energy toward your goals. The more focused you are, the more energy goes toward what you’re working on.

把你的精力放在主要目标上,你做事情越集中,你就能在做的事情是花费更多的精力。

Eliminating things that you care about is hard. You have to make tradeoffs. If you can’t make those tradeoffs, you’re not going to get far. The cost of not being focused is high.

要做到放下你关心的事情只专注于Top3很难。这个需要你自己做权衡。如果你无法做到取舍,你之后的路也不能走的更远。做事情不专注的代价是很高的。

The direction you’re going in is important to the extent that you’re applying energy to it. If you’re focusing your energy on 10 goals, you’re not focused, and instead of having a few completed projects, you have numerous unfinished projects. Like Sisyphus, you’re constantly getting halfway up the mountain but never reaching the top. I can’t think of a bigger waste of time.

选择做事情的方向是很重要的。如果你把精力放在10个目标上,那你就没法做到专注,并且很多目标都没法完成。就像古希腊神话里的西西弗斯一样,不挺地往上爬,但就是从来没到过山顶。这样得多浪费时间。。。

It’s not about working harder to get better results. You have only so much energy to apply. Pick what matters. Eliminate the rest.

所以说,不是通过更努力地工作来得到更好的结果。你的精力是有限的,专注于重要的事情,放下其他不重要的。

总结:作者的这篇文章其实说的就是一个道理:做减法,把精力放在重要的事情上。这个也是我2018年没做到的,大量分散了精力,浪费了时间。2019年我要做的就是专注于2、3件事情上,事情不要多,但是一定要专注。

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1 对 “聪明工作,而不是努力工作”的想法;

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