Eliminating distractions as a generalist
4th November 2016
Throughout my career I’ve been a real generalist - one of my major weaknesses (and strengths) is that I’m interested in everything. As a result my focus can easily be pulled from one thing to the next, and have found it hard to be productive with so many self-inflicted things vying for my attention.
I recently heard about some anecdotal advice that Warren Buffet gave to his pilot when talking about career goals. He asked him to make a list of the top 30 things he wanted to achieve, which he did.
Warren then asked him to rank these from 1-30. Once this was done, Warren asked him to divide this list into two: 1-5, and 6-30. The advice given was to focus soley on the top 5 things, and the second list became the ‘avoid-at-all-costs’ list.
I’ve found this really ruthless prioritisation to be a great tool, not just for long term goals, but for things like hobbies and things in your life.
Identifying the top 5 things, and breaking each of them down into actionable lists has really helped me focus on and make progress (in terms of hobbies, exercise and life things). The other stuff is still on the list, but I’ve given myself permission to ignore these for now, until the day my first 5 are done, or at least made enough headway into so I can switch them up.
As part of National Blog Post Month (#NaBloPoMo) the spin off from the novel writing month that writers often partake in November, I thought I would try and write a few more quick and short posts for November - lets see how far I can go with this.
cover image credit: Charlz Gutiérrez De Piñeres - https://unsplash.com/photos/2w_U2-Ah57E