My Latest Book

Product Details

Also available on,, and other Amazons and bookshops worldwide! 

To Think About . . .
To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did. Denzel Washington
My Other Books

Product Details

Product Details

Product Details

Product Details

Click to order other recommended books.

Find Us on Facebook Badge

Search This Site
« Yesterday Evening | Main | How to Do Anything - Part IV »

How to Do Anything - Part V (and last)

So exactly how do you do anything?

You do it by applying sufficient regular focused attention. Let’s look at the parts of that.


You have to put the hours in. It takes time, and that means making time for it. It also means that time which should be allocated for it isn’t used for doing other stuff instead. It’s good practice at the beginning of each day to write a list of the most important things that you want to have done that day. Then check at the end of the day that you actually have done those things and take remedial action if you haven’t.


Decide what frequency is appropriate for the project and keep to it. Usually, but by no means always, daily is best. And usually, but not always, it’s best to do it early in the day.


Just generally messing around in an unfocused way achieves little. if you’re learning a skill you should be focusing on what needs practice . If you’re building something, focus on what needs doing next. As a general rule, get the skills right before you start applying them.


“Time management” isn’t really about managing time. It’s about managing your attention. Anything that you give your attention to will change and develop. But remember your attention is finite - allocate it carefully.

Reader Comments (4)

Mark this is what it always comes back to isn't it and it's detailed in your very first book.. I think all the systems since DIT onwards are great attempts to incorporate this fact and also "urgent " tasks but the vast majority of these become urgent because we haven't given them enough SRF attention at the appropriate time. Or we commtted to too many things. Still if it was easy...
April 7, 2016 at 7:14 | Unregistered Commenterskeg

Yes, the mistakes people make haven't changed much over the last 16 years, though fashions in what to do about it have!
April 7, 2016 at 9:35 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Re: where is attention?

I read somewhere recently that if attention is in the past or future one is not in reality, which is perhaps why giving up hoping and regretting and replacing it with action in the present is the way out.
April 7, 2016 at 13:32 | Unregistered Commentermichael

<< I read somewhere recently that if attention is in the past or future one is not in reality >>

It is the sort of thing that people do write, but personally I don't think it makes much sense. If you don't pay attention to the past you can't learn, and if you don't pay attention to the future you won't have any reason to take action for change in the present.

Getting stuck in the past or living only for some future that's never going to happen is a different matter.
April 7, 2016 at 15:10 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.