I am a big fan of ‘strategies’.
Especially if they are simple to learn and incorporate.
And extra especially is they have a High ROI (return on investment).
Meaning big results for minimal effort.
So I decided to grab the best strategy from my book Decision Making Mastery, and share here.
(Also, I dropped a rather large gas bottle on my finger a few days ago, so one of my two typing fingers is out of action, so I thought I would find a way to serve you, while only having one finger to type with ;-)).
My request is that you diligently use this strategy for ONE WEEK and then you let me know the benefits you experienced (and then I get to say “I told you so”.
Simple Strategy: Essential Versus Desirable
From ‘Decision Making Mastery’ (Chapter 25) by Carl Massy
This is SO simple.
This is also SO effective.
And as Jim Rohn is credited as saying: “What is easy to do is also easy not to do”.
This strategy, like every other quality strategy, is only effective if you actually apply it.
The strategy goes like this. If you have a decision to make about whether to do something or not, ask yourself the very simple question:
“Is (X) essential or desirable?”
If X is essential you do it. Or you make a plan to do it, which includes making a schedule for when it is actually going to happen. If X is desirable you might park it on the shelf and revisit it later, or just throw it straight in to the recycle bin.
I introduced this strategy at The Practice yoga centre in Bali when I was one of the owners. The way it would work would be very simple. Say one of my two business partners came up with a ‘good idea’ and presented it to the other two owners. The first thing those two owners would ask would be: “Is it essential or desirable?” If it was essential we worked out a plan to make it happen, and if it was desirable we parked in on the shelf with a possibility of reviewing it at a later date.
Here is the thing. We all only have 24 hours in a day. We also have a finite amount of resources at our disposal. Which means we don’t have the time or resources to do everything there is to do. If we want to be as effective as possible and produce the most high quality outputs – be it in business or personally in our lives – we need to ensure that the vast majority of our time we are working on essential activities. In some time management systems this might imply working on your Most Important Tasks (MIT’s).
And as one of the best time management pieces of advice I can offer you I suggest that you cannot manage time. At best it is extremely difficult to manage time and manipulate time. It is generally a fixed resource – like 24 hours a day. The key to being a high achiever is being very good at managing PRIORITIES. Always be working on the activities, which are the highest priority.
One of the best ways to cull the huge range of things that are likely to fill up your ‘To Do List’ is to go through each item and ask whether it is essential or desirable. ALWAYS work on essential activities first.
Time is precious.
Our energy is precious.
Our life force is precious.
So we want to be super conscious of where and how we expend this time, energy and life force.
Don’t waste it on stuff that does not matter.
My Parting words
I am a big fan of keeping things simple.
And being more conscious about what we say ‘yes’ to.
And especially what we say ‘no’ to.
This is an active form of self-love.
Try it for a week and see.
It makes our lives more deliberate and intentional.
As opposed to a bit flippy-floppy.
My finger is hurting, so I will wrap it up here.
So, have an essential-activity-oriented day and the same for the week.
See you next week.