I used to pride myself on juggling several diverse interests, hobbies, and projects. From kendo to board games, cooking to writing in Chinese, or computer programming to intellectual property law, I tried to learn everything. Although I have gotten quite adept at some things, I never truly mastered anything.
Then I read The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. The book is about how tackling one thing at a time with increased focus will make you more successful in life. Doing less instead of more makes you more productive.
While I don’t regret having so many diverse interests, I now see the benefits of narrowing my focus to one thing at a time. I have been writing down all my ideas since I was a teenager (I’m 38 now). I maintain several lists of ideas numbering in the thousands on Google Drive. There are good ideas, bad ideas, absurd ideas, and old ideas in these lists. Attempting to do something with every idea would be stupid. Such a scattershot approach would end up wasting most of my time with few results.
So now is the time to narrow my focus. Here are some of the things I’ve been working on to accomplish this:
- Combining all to do lists into a single list
- Defining my goals and working towards them one at a time
- Consuming only the best media
- Using the 80/20 rule to delete most of my personal media
I once wrote regularly on four different blogs. None of those four blogs had been especially popular. Then I combined all four blogs into one. It became my ONE blog. All of my blogging successes or failures rested with the one blog. With all my blogging chips on one bet, if I fail I can be sure that it wasn’t because of lack of focus.
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