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The ETM Minute: A Personal Productivity Tool from Your Milwaukee Foot Specialists

Here’s a really amazing and effective productivity tool that I learned from Earl Nightingale:

The Five Things List.

I want to help you be more productive every day. This course isn’t focused on productivity, however, being productive and accomplishing a few significant tasks each day feels really good, increases self-esteem, and brings joy … and that is what this course is about!

What stands in our way of focus and productivity each day is distraction. This productivity exercise is a simple technique to quiet the distractions for a while in order to gain clarity and focus. Here’s how it works: each evening, write down the five most important things that you want to accomplish the next day. Make sure that these tasks are meaningful and significant to you. They may have to do with personal, health, travel, family, business … whatever it is that you value. Make sure to make them significant for you. Choose things that will leave you with a good feeling when you put your head on the pillow tonight. Now prioritize them, numbering one through five with the most important first.

Okay, now here is the revolutionary productivity technique: first thing the next morning, sit down and start working on number one. Do not answer the phone. Do not check email. Do not look up or do any other small task (except refilling your coffee cup) until it is complete. Once number one is complete, immediately start on number two. Do not answer the phone. Do not check email. Do not look up or do any other small task until it is complete. There you have it … the secret to productivity!

When your head hits the pillow tonight, you will know that you accomplished the two most meaningful and important tasks you set out to do today. It will provide a great feeling of satisfaction, accomplishment, capability, and joy. Usually with this intentional focus, I find I can finish the first two tasks before 10:00 a.m. That’s amazing! It gives me that feeling of joy and accomplishment for the entire rest of the day.

It all seems so simple doesn’t it? That’s how you know it is right. The best solutions are always simple. Have a wonderful day.

Note: if you would like to read about how I was inspired to incorporate this genius idea into my life, do an internet search on “the $25,000 idea” by the great master of motivation Earl Nightingale.

Find more from Dr. Rick at
I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in and stops my mind from wandering.
— The Beatles, “Fixing a Hole”

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This information is not meant as medical advice. It is provided solely for education. Our practice would be pleased to discuss your unique circumstances and needs as they relate to these topics.

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Milwaukee Foot & Ankle Specialists of Wauwatosa, Oak Creek, New Berlin and Mequon, Wisconsin (WI) treat all medical and surgical foot and ankle conditions. Licensed Podiatrists, Dr. Steven Waldman, Dr. Christopher Milkie and Dr. Lucy Meier can help bring you foot and ankle pain relief.
Our podiatrists, foot surgeons and staff of our Milwaukee area podiatry offices offer the most effective and state-of-the-art, quality podiatry care services with a smile to patients in our local community. Return to a pain-free life and get back to the things you love!
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