Darren Hardy recently suggested looking at your life and pruning five things from your life. The idea is that to improve your personal productivity you need to cut back on those things in your life that are taking up your time and energy so you can focus on the more important parts of your life. With that energy being focused there instead of all the things that may be draining it, you are able to have greater success and make larger strides in your life.
Since February I have done just that.
I have a lot of ideas and things I would like to do from a business and writing perspective, but I have focused on just getting my current fiction book done. Sure, there are a lot more things I would like to work on. Things I think can really help serve more people but I want to get this out of the way first. Then I will have the time to focus on those things. I know that before this February I was always beating myself up mentally thinking I would like to get the book done, but there were so many other things that were calling for my attention that I never got it done.
The thing is, that those other things were not getting done either. I needed to pick one and so I did. Now I have the necessary focus and I know that once the first draft of that book is complete I’ll be able to switch and start on one of the other projects. I have more confidence in my ability to get my personal projects done and I’m working down the priority list.
So, if you find yourself in the same position, then I suggest the following steps:
- Make a list of all the projects you want to get done that you feel are not making much progress
- Decide if they are worth it. If you can, limit this list to just 5 projects
- Decide which of those you want to do the most right now. You can decide what the criteria are. For example it could make you the most money, or be the most enjoyable, or mean the most to a friend. Whatever. You get to decide what the most important measure is.
- Put the others on the “Next” list, and then start on that one.
- Work on that one project until it is done. This could take days, weeks or even months. Don’t let anything else distract you. Even if it’s another cool idea. If you get one of those, put it on the “Next” list and then when it comes time to prune again, you can decide if it’s really the next thing or if one of the other projects is more important.
If you follow these steps then you will find you won’t get distracted from your current goal and will get a lot more done in your life.
After you do this exercise, let me know how it goes. I’d be interested to hear about what project you’re working on and how you are progressing. I know that because of my example another friend of mine is working on a book of his own and has written over 55K words on it already! I’d love to hear more stories like this.
The picture is “The Simple Life” by Kenny Louie