The “small stuff” is keeping executives and employees alike from accomplishing their important tasks. Finding a way to overcome the little things will go a long way toward addressing bigger goals and projects, a lecturer with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology believes.

A recent posting with the MIT Sloan Executive innovation@work blog highlights this and other related ideas pitched by MIT Sloan Lecturer Robert Pozen during a recent MIT Sloan Executive Education webinar.

By not sweating the small stuff, Pozen means executives and employees need to make their task lists simple, according to the blog. One big way to do this is to avoid checking email every few minutes and instead do so every hour or two. Along those lines, he urged email users to only look at the subject matter and sender, ignoring 60-80 percent of what they receive.

“Most emails you get aren’t very useful,” Pozen said.

Pozen recommended addressing important emails immediately and not flagging them to address later. With important emails dealt with, there’s more time to dive into big projects.

Pozen’s other tips about not fretting over small issues are broader but no less important.

Overcoming perfectionism is a good thing, he said, focusing on the extra time needed to create “A+” work only where it is most important, rather than with every task. Confronting procrastination is also good, he said. Rather than becoming stymied by overwhelming tasks, break them up into little pieces, he recommended, so a project can proceed at a steady pace.

For the full blog posting and other ways to boost productivity, click here.