1 of 5 Prioritization — “Things to do, places to go!”
“Things to do, places to go!” That’s how it always is, isn’t it?
There are always things to do. There are always places to go.
I’ve found that discipline and continued action are two of the most important attributes that influence any success I may achieve. Challenges like this (5 days of writing to kick off the first 5 days of August) — where there’s social accountability and a public commitment as well as a tangible deliverable — are often the most fruitful for me.
Which things to do?
Which places to go?
One of my great friends and future business partners (if all goes well), Stephan Mazokha, shared a great insight. We have some great conversations about our ambitions and visions every few weeks or so.
This time he was reminding me that my business is not much of a business if there is no revenue to be had — and the IRS would agree I’m sure.
I was sharing some of the things that I thought were valuable to learn. His response was that if I’m not going to be applying some of those items I was studying, it might not be a fruitful use of my time. That was his experience. I had to reflect on that for a little while.
There are many things that we are learning each day. We can learn whatever we want to if we seek it. But the important thing is application.
Learned through Application
So as we think about this, it really makes sense, right?
Do you know anyone who’s gone through pharmacy school or medical school or nursing school? There’s a similar structure in a college’s education department also. Students learn and study and gain material — then they go into rotations or practicums or whatever terminology you want to use in this case.
Why don’t we have those students learn first and then go on an international cultural trip for 12 months and then go into those rotations? Because it wouldn’t make sense.
When we teach people things, we want them to be able to use them.
(That’s why I still struggle with the lack of financial planning taught in schools today, but that’s another conversation for another day).
I want to focus just on the application side of things today.
We might know some of the numbers:
The low number of people who complete a book in the US after they complete high school.
The lack of people who have liquidity for a $500 emergency expense
The small percentage of people who have written goals to pursue
So what’s important?
We’re going to be here awhile — on earth that is. We would be much better served if we spent time doing things that would set the right foundation.
I know a lot of interesting people in a lot of interesting places. Depending on who you talk to, you’re going to hear about incredibly interesting things also.
One of my colleagues has some awesome skiing stories. Stuff like getting dropped from a helicopter at the top of a mountain and skiing down some incredibly tight slopes. It sounds amazing. But I can’t prioritize that today if I want to move closer to my goals tomorrow.
One of my family members has some awesome scuba diving stories. Stuff like a river ride in South Africa followed by swimming with whales. It sounds amazing. But I can’t prioritize that today if I want to move closer to my goals tomorrow.
One of my friends has some awesome travel stories. Stuff like using gift card arbitrage and credit card rewards points to travel at a very low cost and on a regular basis. Seattle. Colorado. Florida. Montana. It sounds amazing. But I can’t prioritize that today if I want to move closer to my goals tomorrow.
We have to simply accept — the goals that we have for today need to be supported by the actions that we did YESTERDAY.
One of my goals is to continue expanding my writing. That’s a top-level goal but to do that… I need to write — which I haven’t been.
It’s back to the preface of this — discipline and continued action are often two of the largest contributing factors to any success that I have experienced thus far.
Prioritize what is most important and attack that item first. Then keep going.
I set my 3 most important tasks every night before I go to sleep — those are the non-negotiables that I need to get done no matter what.
Plan. Prioritize. Execute. Repeat.
“When you are juggling multiple tasks and priorities as well as your regular responsibilities at once, it is impossible to fulfill all of them within the same amount of time. Identify which responsibilities have the least amount of recognizable repercussions and transparently communicate to ALL stakeholders that there will be delays. Then get back to work.” — Harrison Wendland