Stop spinning your wheels. Find some traction. Get where you want to go safely.
Be sure you’re measuring your progress correctly. Progress comes the way it wants too. Progress isn’t linear. Progress grows like a vine; every which way.
Progress isn’t like laying a brick wall. Progress is more like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. You never know which piece is going to fit in next.
When you measure your progress only one way you limit yourself. You can’t measure intelligence by looking at grades. You can’t measure martial art skill by looking at belts. You can’t measure productivity by looking at a to do list.
People think they are making progress if they get lots of things checked off their list. They’re wrong.
Getting things done doesn’t move you forward unless you do the RIGHT things. The only true measurement is did you find a way to improve a tiny bit today over yesterday.
I created a tool to help.
It’s a simple 4 question quiz I fill out every day. I focus on THEMES instead of items to do.
- Did you improve your fitness and health by 1%?
- Did you improve your mind by 1%?
- Did you improve your relationships by 1%
- Did you improve your attitude by 1%?
I’ve noticed it’s INCREDIBLY hard to get four “Yes” check marks. A good day is getting in two. A great day is three. And a FANTASTIC day is when I can check off all four.
Less than two and my day sucked.
Having the list has made a huge difference. Before I had this little quiz life wasn't as good. I used to wake up and start to work on my to do list. My list had dozens of tasks I tried to get done.
Sometimes I’d get a lot of my to do’s finished. But at the end of the day I was making little progress in the areas that mattered. I’d finish my day and skip working out. Skip reading or doing my self development stuff. I’d skip making progress toward my goals.
Without my list of four themes I was spinning my wheels.
That’s what the list of themes does for you. It gives you traction.
By using a list of four themes your day will automatically organize itself. Lots of the items on your todo lists get done enroute to working on your themes.
You decide to go for a run and realize you’ve got library books to return and a grocery list. You decide to run at the park near the library and grocery store.
While you’re at the grocery store you see the perfect bouquet of flowers and pick them up for your wife.
While you are working on your mind you get an idea that improves your workflow. You change the position of your laptop. Suddenly you’re productivity goes up.
Since I started using themes I’m actually getting MORE done from my to do list than before.
Nothing exists in a vacuum. When you make progress in one area you will begin to make progress in ALL areas. If you decide to lift weights and you get stronger it doesn’t just help you in the gym. It helps you unload the stuff in your trunk too.
Every area you make progress helps every other area.
But that’s the key. You’ve got to make progress.
Following a few themes instead of a long todo list is one of the best ways to do that.
Follow themes; get some traction.