Many people get things done. They consistently check items off their to-do lists. They're extremely busy -- but are they accomplishing what matters most? Are they achieving what they truly hope to achieve?
Highly successful people are also efficient, but they take that effort to the next level: They focus on accomplishing the tasks that will make the biggest difference for themselves, for their families, for their businesses.
Unlike merely efficient people, they get the right things done.
And that's what makes them so successful.
As Sandberg says:
"I think the most important thing we've learned as we've grown is that we have to prioritize. We talk about it as ruthless prioritization. And by that what we mean is only do the very best of the ideas.
Lots of times you have very good ideas. But they're not as good as the most important thing you could be doing. And you have to make the hard choices."
Work without genuine purpose is just work. Successful people don't just know what to do; they know why. They establish a long-term goal and then ruthlessly prioritize their short-term goals -- and activities -- so they support that long-term goal.
In short, successful people have purpose -- and that purpose informs everything they do. That's why they seem so dedicated and organized and consistently on-task. They're not slaves to a routine; they're simply driven to reach their goals, and quick to eliminate roadblocks and put aside distractions that stand in their way.
That's what ruthless prioritization is all about.
Set your goals first. Decide what success means to you. (Keep in mind how you define success is totally up to you.) Then ruthlessly prioritize so that you do the most important things you should be doing.
Don't just get things done. Get the right things done.
That's the best way to achieve the goals that matter most to you.