Most people approach their workday by trying to cross things off a task list in the small slivers of time that remain between attending meetings and reacting to emails and instant messages, often late into the evening. I prefer “time blocking” — partitioning my day into blocks of time, and assigning specific work to each. This systematic approach for working through my daily tasks has been instrumental in my last 15 years of work, during which I earned a Ph.D. from MIT, then tenure at Georgetown University — all while publishing six books, including multiple bestsellers.

Record your metrics

Organize uncompleted tasks

Look at the week ahead

Acknowledge “shutdown complete”