I want to live an authentic life. I want to be a person of integrity. I want to do great work.
- I spend too much time in my head (thinking, debating, daydreaming) and not enough time in the real world (doing, doing, doing).
- I’m not getting enough done. I have the most sophisticated tools ever available for turning ideas into finished work, but I’m producing less work (and less meaningful work) than ever before.
- I spend too much time engaged with shallow distractions. I need to spend less time talking about the interesting thing I saw online and more time doing something that idea inspired me to do. I need to spend more time creating and less time tinkering.
- I fail to meet my commitments to myself and those closest to me. Sometimes, this is because I have too many commitments, but all too often, it’s simply because I haven’t set the right priorities. Why aren’t I willing to work as hard for myself as hard as I’m willing to work for others?
What to do about it?
- Spend more time in the real world and less time online. Reach out to and spend more time with real people. Prioritize personal contact with people who understand the value of personal contact.
- Set and meet daily quotas. Shipping finished work is the only meaningful gauge of progress. Set reasonable — but challenging — quotas. Leverage habit to get you though those patches where discipline and willpower fail.
- Stop drinking from the fire hose. Break the habit of browsing RSS feeds and Zite and Facebook and television. Instead: engage with real people, trust powerful filters to bring you the important stuff, and finish reading a new book every two weeks.
- Keep every commitment. Prioritize the commitments I’ve made and fulfill them. Make most new commitments to myself and those closest to me. Limit other commitments to those people and causes that truly inspire me. Recognize that time and attention and passion are precious and limited. Budget them accordingly.