This is a ruthless world and one must be ruthless to cope with it. Charlie Chaplin
This is the third of my shorter test episodes but last weeks show was of standard length - about 22 minutes - and in it I introduced 5 motivational messages from viral YouTube legend Abo, Demi Demi. Please go back and have a listen if you haven’t done so yet. He’s an interesting character and his unusual musings are well worth your time.
Today though I’m backing this simple productivity concept - that focusing on no more than 3 things over a given period of time, not at the same time, but over a given period, could change everything for you. It may be more completely stated as Focus on three things, ignore the rest.
Tom McCallum in his Open Leadership blog says “Past and current clients will smile at the title, as I always look to get them to distil their focus down to three things, no matter the size of the company, the complexity of the challenges, opportunities, issues they face.”
Today’s topic fits well under this shows heading of success because if your focus is spread across too many things, too many goals or ideas or concepts or tasks or responsibilities and commitments you will almost never find it. Focusing on just 3 things forces you to consider whether something is a distraction or an opportunity. Too many ideas, even great ideas will bring chaos and confusion into your life. Focusing down on three, will illuminate much of that chaos and make your goals significantly more achievable.
I often struggle with my own projects because I can’t possibly work on them or move them all forward at a pace that I would like. I’m sitting here prepping podcast shows when I want to be advancing several film projects, several admin matters and several personal projects forward at a decent pace but I know from experience that I really can’t do it.
I forever wish I had a team of skilled people on whom I can rely to hep me with marketing or admin, or communications and development but I don’t have them. I’m on my own and when I spread myself too thinly, the needle on these other tasks just barely moves. I have accepted that I have to vigorously prioritize what I am focusing on. On a 12-week year for example I will only ever focus on 3 major goals as I have learned again and again that to do more would jeopardize the whole lot of them. Prioritizing my long-term goals, as well as my monthly, weekly and daily tasks is an essential part of what I do.
Sheryl Sandberg talks about this as follows, “We talk about it as ruthless prioritization and by that what we mean is - only do the very best of the ideas. Lots of times you have very good ideas but they're not as good as the most important thing you could be doing and you have to make the hard choices.”
Warren buffet talks about something similar but his is a little different- he says pick 5 and he goes into in in some detail.
He says list the top 25 things you want to do in the next few years or even in your lifetime. Just jot down anything that comes to mind as being important to you that isn’t currently a part of your life.
He then asks us to pick the 5 things we want more than anything. You’ll likely want to do more, but you can’t do that, because if you do, your chances of achieving them will be greatly diminished. Choose only those that are of utmost priority to you.
Next up, and some of you will start to see a parallel here between what I’m talking about and the best year yet strategy which I’ve done two previous shows on. He says we should make a Top 5 Plan. Decide exactly how you plan to get to work on the top 5 and what your approach will be. He would also encourage you not to put it off to kill the I’ll start tomorrow mindset and start on these plans right away.
Once the Top 5 planning session is over, you may ask “but what about these other 20 things on the list? “and what Warren Buffet says to that is this – “No matter what, these 20 things get no attention from you until you’ve succeeded with your top 5.” Those 20 things are what Warren calls the ‘Avoid at all Costs List‘. That list should never ever be touched, unless of course, you have completed the first 5 priority goals first.
This ruthlessness in choosing just five things if you would like to follow Warren Buffet’s example or three things if you would prefer to follow mine, which is also known as THE RULE OF THREE, is essential if you are to achieve success.
If you want to prioritize Success then take this concept and run with it. If you want to know more please note that I look into it as part of the 12 week year system which was covered in the episode 91 New Year Special. Combine that with the Best Year yet strategy covered in the previous New Year Special and you will be unstoppable.
As an aside here I must add that I have helped two people with there strategies this year, and it’s been a time consuming but rewarding journey. This is a service I may offer in future for a fee. If that’s of interest to you please let me know.
Later on this week I will be releasing another short show like this. It’s called OPENING AND CLOSING DOORS, and it’s released on Wednesday at 7pm.
In the meantime, let me finish with a quote from John Maeda who said People who can focus, get things done. People who can prioritize, get the right things done.
Now take control of your own destiny, keep on shootin’ and join me next time on FILM PRO PRODUCTIVITY AND SUCCESS!
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