Here’s everyone right now: I’ve got a lot to do. New year, new me. I’m going to do this and that and this and… It doesn’t work. You end up running in a lot of circles, or at best, you hit a lot of smaller goals, but nothing that really moves the needle. Right? Let’s do something about that.
1000 Targets, One Arrow
The time to believe in multitasking is over. You might have a thousand targets (a thousand things to do), but you only have one arrow (your attention). If you shoot at two targets with that one arrow? You miss both.
Your first job in this world is to understand what matters (priorities) and then set your targets up so that you hit the bullseyes that matter most to your growth. You can have more than one priority but you can only set your days up such that you’re tackling one at a time.
The proper number of targets to have is four:
- Family (and Country)
- Charity (for lack of a better term)
Other people’s problems aren’t top of your list. You have to stay in functional working order so that you can help everyone else. Your family comes before work, even if you have to allot the hours differently some days.
It’s When You Add On
Most people do strange things at the beginning of the year. They list out their failures and then try working on all of them at once. First, trying to patch all the little things in your life or trying to adopt a dozen new habits all at once is basically foregoing the bow and just throwing a fistful of arrows down range. You’re not going to hit anything but the ground.
Aim and Shoot
If you’re working on self, address a single habit for a month. Once you’ve got that handled, pick up a second. If you don’t have it handled, work on it more.
Shoot at self for the first few hours of the day or the last few. Wherever you can get it to match up with life.
Shoot at family at least three times a day.
For work, there’s the work you do and there’s growth. Aim your arrow at whatever will grow your success.
It Will All Get Done
Our fear when we are shooting so hectically to hit all these 1000 targets is that they all need doing NOW. It’s just never true. And interestingly, the most URGENT tasks are often the ones that shouldn’t be done at all. Sure, pick up the kids from school because that’s urgent, but “learn French because I always wanted to” needs to get in line behind whatever matters most to improving yourself at this moment.
I find that when I work from priorities, all the “dumb” things in life fall away. I find that when I work on what matters most, a lot less “junk” shows up for me to handle.
One Last Target Problem
I can tell you that one of the biggest adder-ons of targets to your life comes from FOMO – the fear of missing out. You see someone doing or having something that you don’t and you start chasing that thing. Stop it. You don’t have to be at every conference. You don’t have to own every dumb gadget. The newest thing in the store isn’t always the best fit for your world.
One Arrow, One Target
This changes life. You breathe. You take aim. You fill yourself with the goal you want to work on, the priority that matters to your life, your family and country, work, and charity. And you work from that.
You’ll hit a lot more bullseyes this way.
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