The biggest challenge we’ve always faced is to prioritize our work.
How should we distinguish between important, urgent, and avoidable work?
It’s not that we don’t think about this question. But often, our answers are upside down. Work that can get avoided becomes important while truly important work gets avoided altogether.
Emails and meetings are not important. Yet, they seize the bulk of our day. Daily learning and self-improvement are important. Yet, we almost never engage in activities to achieve these goals.
Everyone has the intent. But most people struggle to know what they should do to begin focusing on what’s important to them.
At times, I feel like I’m sailing in in the same boat as them. I avoid important work and look for something easier to do.
When I become aware of this conduct, here are 10 questions I ask myself.
1. Am I avoiding the task because it makes me uncomfortable?
2. Am I looking for something easier to do so instead of this task?
3. Do I tell myself, “this isn’t possible right now,” or “I don’t have time for this”?
4. Am I planning and planning (and planning some more) on how to begin?
5. Am I procrastinating by watching YouTube or surfing the web for “more information”?
6. Is this task something that nobody holds me accountable for, but will help me improve myself?
7. Will the result of doing (or not doing) this task affect me and/or people I care about?
8. Do I wish someone else would do the task for me?
9. Do I feel like I don’t know how to do this or I am not capable of it?
10. Am I afraid of failing at it because people will think I’m an idiot?
I don’t pose all questions to myself. But if two of them return with “yes” as the answer, I know what I have to focus on.
You don’t have to “take massive action” in a “peak life state.” Making minimum viable progress is enough.
You don’t have to make a dent in the universe. Making space within yourself and nurturing something amazing to grow in it is enough.
You don’t have to worry about the consequences of failure. Sticking to the process is enough.
Shed your old snakeskin in exchange for a new one constantly. Adapt to existing times and grow yourself.
You cannot rely on the laurels of yesterday to get through tomorrow.