Here's the question a productivity expert started asking himself to keep from drowning in work

Ramit Sethi 02Business InsiderGrowthLab CEO Ramit Sethi in a Facebook Live interview with Business Insider.

Ramit Sethi gets things done.

The CEO of GrowthLab and I Will Teach You To Be Rich has created a business out of teaching entrepreneurs to be more focused, more efficient, and more productive. 

In a Facebook Live interview with Business Insider, Sethi shared the strategies he uses himself to get more done every day. 

He starts by asking: “What are the key three things that I need to get done tomorrow?”

“How many of us have been in the situation where we get to work and we’re like OK, this is going to be a great day, and 28 minutes later you have 45,000 emails in your inbox, someone’s texting you, your boss is pulling you over here?” he asked. “Not a good situation. Things are going to happen. I want to plan and anticipate for chaos.” 

Figuring out his top three priorities for the next day is the first step. Then, he blocks off time for them on the calendar.

“I found myself constantly answering emails, responding to texts, and getting caught up in the quick quick quick reaction time,” he said. “And I realised that I wasn’t spending time thinking about the big picture … And that’s a problem. If you’re constantly reactive you’re never going to be proactive.”

He “had this dream that I could block off an entire day” for only thinking big-picture thoughts, he continued. “Sounds great in theory. Well, the first time I tried it, I had 50 people emailing me for time and I had my team and it just didn’t work. It all fell apart.”

So he shrunk his ambitions. First, he went for 30 minutes. Once he could successfully block out 30 minutes, he expanded it to an hour, then two. “Now, every Wednesday I take a strategy day,” Sethi said. “Wednesday is my day where I think big-picture, where I read long strategy books, I think about our business model, and I’ve spent years trying to build myself up to that time, to protect my time and let me think long-term. “

Watch the full Facebook Live »

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