There’s work to be done. We all know that. Anyone who’s up to doing anything in this life knows how much work there is to do.
This is a post about getting to work – but it’s about getting to the RIGHT work and ignoring or minimizing the wrong work.
Many of us are working extremely hard, but not all of our hard work is in the right areas or at the right times to build extraordinary health and an extraordinary life.
My major challenge lately has been keeping up with this great wave of exposure my work has had. This is mostly because of the writing I’ve been doing for Paleo Magazine and the increased visibility I’ve had because of it. Continuing to write great stuff for Paleo Magazine AND my blog AND take good care of myself AND keep stress under control. It’s a tall order.
And, I didn’t even mention all the side stuff like email and Facebook and Twitter and continued reading and learning on everything health and business and self-development related.
It may be difficult and seem a bit daunting at times – but, it’s a great opportunity and an awesome positive challenge. I’m thankful for it and wouldn’t trade it for anything. And, I’m going to give this everything I have.
In “The Time of Your Life” Audio Program by Anthony Robbins, he jokes about having such an abundance of opportunity that you can’t manage it all and miss some opportunities.
So, you end up having a sense of loss over opportunity!?!
I’m not going to waste the opportunities in front of me.
As Seth Godin said in one of his talks on YouTube:
“How DARE you waste this Revolution!?!”
The world is experiencing a Revolution of Connection right now and there’s work to be done if we want to make the most of the incredible time we’re living through.
There’s hard work to do in our lives, in our work and on our health. There’s hard work to be done in our physical training and there’s hard work to be done on ourselves so we can continue to grow and evolve.
But, so much of our work is about slowing down, becoming more present and focusing on WHAT MATTERS as opposed to the urgencies and noises of the moment.
The work we need to do isn’t always the work we THINK we need to do. In my own life, I find the truly important work tends to get lost in the urgency of the moment.
What I’m talking about is focusing on and capitalizing on the REAL opportunities.
The opportunities that will enhance and bring value to our lives and those we care about. The opportunities that nurture us in positive ways. It’s not about just doing what’s on our “To-Do” list.
YOU have to actively manage your life, your work and your list of “To-Dos.”
As JD Meier says in the excellent book “Getting Results The Agile Way,” either you drive your schedule or your schedule drives YOU.
This post is a call to action for myself and for you. Let’s start driving our lives and our schedules toward something extraordinary. Let’s stop being driven by the “latest and loudest” and direct our lives where we know we need them to go.
Slowing Down to Go Faster…
My friend and blogger extraordinaire, Jeff Goins actually just launched a series on his blog called “The Slow Down Challenge” that’s focused on slowing down and engaging with life in a way that matters – with presence and with purpose. http://goinswriter.com/smell-roses/
“When we live such frantic lives, we can end up moving from one thing to the next without really concentrating on anything in particular. We can hit the fast-forward button on life and not stop until the end. Which isn’t much of a life at all.”
- Jeff Goins
So, we end up in the glut of things to do – a glut of opportunities even – and we end up squandering this wonderful abundance by trying to do so much that we end up doing almost nothing of any real value.
We run faster and faster to keep up and we do more and more while accomplishing less and less.
The More Personal, the More Universal…
This post is about my own personal decision to focus on what matters and to get the REAL work done. Not the running and spinning and stressing and striving bullshit work. The REAL work.
The more personal, the more universal. I think there are more people than just me who struggle with this and would love to find a way out. Some are likely as desperate as I am to find a way out of the stress and the running and the pushing and to start enjoying the great abundance all around us in the 21st Century.
There are only so many hours in the day and rushing through them in stress – while not doing all the things you truly want to do and truly value – isn’t the way to live a life.
We go in this around and around mess where everything is compromised. Too much work impacts training and caring for ourselves. But, going too easy on ourselves sets us back in work and training. Working on a project that has nothing to do with work or health sets us back in both areas to the point that the project doesn’t feel rewarding when we progress on it.
It’s a mess. And, I’m putting an end to it. Today.
It’s time to live fully and do what we love fully. No matter what, we have to find a way to do it.
It’s False Economy…
Saving the hour or two in the day by skipping a workout or half-assing one that we do get done doesn’t save anything in the long run. In fact, I can say with 100% certainty that not putting everything I have into my workouts compromises my mood, health, digestion, focus, creativity and productivity over the long haul.
But, in the moment, it can seem so important to get some urgent thing done. You can always work out “tomorrow” right?
A few minutes saved here and an hour or two saved there don’t add up to an increase in productivity in the long term. It’s just the opposite. It creates a steady decline into lower creative output. (If you don’t believe me, check out “How to Be Excellent at Anything” by Tony Schwartz or find some of his stuff online.)
You can also ask Richard Branson:
Or read this post from my friends Aaron and Than over at Asian Efficiency: http://www.asianefficiency.com/health/exercise-and-productivity/
I’ve finally come to the conclusion that my work goals of increased output, high productivity and high creativity are actually served by taking the time I need to train well and productively, stretch as much as I need to, meditate, do yoga and eat well and sleep well.
And, this means that I have to focus on the health-building activities no matter what. Focus on the things that are important but not urgent. They don’t become urgent until they get neglected for too long and it’s too late fix them with shorter term actions.
And, this all requires that I manage computer time and work time effectively. If this was “back in the day” when I was in my 20s in college, I could go at it 24/7. I wish I could. But I can’t. My age of 41 – and probably the fact the I spent my 20 and 30s going at life with everything I had 24/7 – has made it a necessity that I slow down and work smarter as opposed to harder and longer.
As I said in Part 4 of my Adrenal Fatigue series for Paleo Magazine:
“Sleeping less to work more is becoming a more and more antiquated idea as we move toward things that work in work and in life. It’s more and more accepted – even in more conservative business circles – that sleep actually INCREASES productivity over the long-term.
To fully heal or maintain robust health, we have to learn to take great care of ourselves and treat our health and sanity as an asset as opposed to an endless resource to squander. This can be difficult for many of us, especially those with a hardcore, old-school work ethic. The Type-A personsalities.
I want to communicate to you the same thing I have to remind myself of every day – being healthy, happy and rested is the ultimate productivity technique.”
And, when the shit hits the fan, these are exactly the places I cut corners to get more done. Maybe in the very short-term this is an OK strategy, but in the long-term it is not.
My health, my training and my ability to produce great writing and content depends on it.
And, so, it has to end. It’s stupid. And, I have real, important and exciting work to do over the next few years.
It’s time to GET TO WORK.
I’m going to be doing a series of posts on the topics of productivity as it relates to Paleo Living. To keep them accessible, I’ll be using the Twitter hashtag: #GetToWork.
- “Stop Saying You’re Fine” by Mel Robbins
- “Be Excellent at Anything” by Tony Schwartz
- Asian Efficiency Blog