I recently rediscovered an article by Tim Ferriss called “"Productivity" Tricks for the Neurotic, Manic-Depressive, and Crazy (Like Me)”. It hits a couple critical points, and it was highly motivating to rediscover some of the techniques. Here I’d like to highlight some of his questions and suggestions, and add my thoughts:
“If this were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day?”
One thing that I find interesting: most of these suggestions feel that they are more applicable to a life as a freelancer (then again, I don't know any other life myself). Fighting every day to find the motivation to get something done. Not to dwell on the unimportant.
So, the first question speaks to that. Sitting down in the morning with my journal, writing the 3 most important tasks on a sheet of paper and asking myself: which one of these would make my day a success. Let’s focus on that first.
“Will moving this forward make all the other to-do’s unimportant or easier to knock off later?”
I recently wrote a lot about ending projects and making hard decisions. This is one of the questions that influenced that decision in a big way.
“Would ending these projects make all the other to-do’s unimportant or easier to knock off?” And the answer: “Hell yes! Absolutely.”
“Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.”
Combine that with:
“Being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions.”
It’s the scary stuff that most of us tend to push away. Everything else is more important. Suddenly it’s super important to do the dishes, to go workout, and to meet all kinds of friends. A busy schedule. But are you actually doing the important stuff? Those tasks that will make everything else easier or unimportant? Are you having the tough conversation? Do you send that important email?
“Don’t overestimate the world and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.”
Easy to fall into, but such a bad idea. I know exactly what Tim is talking about. It’s every day. Overestimating what others are doing, what skill they have, experience, gear, and knowledge. Looking closer? Everybody has their own area of expertise, their own talent, interest, and way. It’s quite something to understand that deeply.
Every day is a new opertunity. Every morning you get new decisions to make. Are you clearing your head, do you know where you are going, and are you taking action toward that vision? If not, why not start today!