If You Want to Be Productive You have to Suck at Something

The worst question my wife used to ask me was: “Did you get everything done today?” The answer was never yes which always meant that it was demoralizing to answer it.

It was like my stupid statement: “The kids slept great last night…right.” No they didn’t I just sleep like a stone and that made my wife annoyed because she was up.

Don’t ask your entrepreneurial spouse if they got everything done if you want to have a happy marriage.

This is an excerpt from my book Analogue Productivity: Bring more value to work with paper and a pen. Members get it for free, along with lots of other stuff. You should join us.

There will never be a time when you can get all your tasks done. You’ll always have a list of things you want to do or have to do or wish you could do. You’ll have a list of things you see your colleagues do which you dream will get you the success they have. You’ll have a list your partner wants you to do.

The lists will never end, so don’t worry about it.

One of the most freeing decisions I made in 2017 was to suck at email most days of the week. I don’t bother with Inbox 0. I go for a mostly clear inbox and I only ever have time scheduled for it on Friday.

See Friday has me running between coaching calls. I have an hour here, 30-minutes there, and 45-minutes now. That’s perfect for dealing with a few emails and terrible for getting good writing done or amazing code written.

For your big work projects, tackle one. In fact, cut the number of projects you’ll work on at once. I only have two project slots. They can be taken up by 2 internal projects, or two external projects or 1 and 1.

That means when my site died and just had to be fixed in February 2018, I put this 99% written book on hold and tackled the site instead of pushing forward on the book. I’m only now back to it as we head into March 2018. Sure I have been teasing it as a February thing for a while, but I’m okay with sucking at delivering the book to the world. I’ve read two good books that are informing the editing of this book.

Without the 5 week break from writing this wouldn’t be as good as it could be.

Actions

  1. Write down what tasks you’re going to suck at. What will you let go this week, and every week so that you can focus on what’s important in your business?

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