Urgent versus Important (revisited)
People will always try to pull you in the direction of what they feel is important. In many cases, that's their job. But it's your job to sort through the inbound and choose where to spend your time.
In my own life, I am notoriously bad at email. In fact, I get anxiety over it. So I try to avoid it or look at it sparingly. But that makes me a poor project manager. So, I now have an assistant who can help me set up the meetings with the cool people I love (addressed in next paragraph), but often miss out on because I suck at scheduling! And she can help me set up my side projects so I give the amazing leaders I work with the attention they deserve (Entrepreneur's Creed guys, that's for you).
I loathe boring meetings and insist on working out everyday. One coworker was convinced I was high or drunk for the majority of an almost 2 hour meeting. I was drunk; drunk with absolute boredom. And working out, that's for me. I'm happier, more productive and have better quality energy. I don't feel heavy and anxious; I feel powerful and progressive. It's a much better way to work. Think diesel gas versus premium. When I work out I'm on premium all the way...
Most times I focus on meeting with people I find interesting and think I can genuinely help. If you're not a genuine individual or a potential partner/friend, I don't have much interest in meeting you. I really believe working with cool individuals, not the self-inflated morons who only seem to think about what YOU can do for them.
I also teach business & sales classes, take on an occasional client here or there and am launching Entrepreneur's Creed this summer. My assistant will help with a lot of this but up until now I simply have had 'lower' standards (perfection is not a must), I ship far sooner and make decisions so much faster.
This allows me to produce faster.
I am more forgiving of myself and have greater confidence in handling adversity. So if someone doesn't want to work with me, I'm not as upset as maybe I would have been before. I can work faster without worrying about slipping up.
As Tim Ferris calls it, you have to be willing to let small fires happen. And I am. Most people suck at running their own lives for fear of failing so they just do what everyone else does: act super busy. And many assume you should do the same.
I took the Four Hour Work Week very seriously and while I don't run from work, in fact I love to work, I will not do things that drain me, work with immoral individuals or idiots or do things just because you "have to".
I've learned to produce rapidly in a short amount of time and my focus is always on the urgent, on spending time with quality people and on helping others.
If it doesn't fit the bill with one of above, then it's not worth my time.
The better you get at what you do the more people will want to be in front of you. Be decisive, be kind and do the damn thing!