My wife and I have been thinking about longer-term goals and direction lately, and the indomitable James Clear (author of Atomic Habits) has come up a few times in the past couple of days, as if on queue, with some sage advice.
For example, I love his approach to picking what you are trying to optimize for and never violating that as a way to create positive constraints.
First, I’ll just say I’m not saying this is how everybody should run their business, it’s just how I choose to run mine. You have to choose what you’re trying to accomplish. In my case, I don’t want to have a big team, but I do want to make as big of an impact as possible. The first question I ask is rather than optimizing for money, let’s optimize for time, so how do I want to spend my days? Then I try to make as few choices as possible that violate that answer. You’ve got to keep coming back to that. How do I want to spend my days? What do I want my time to be spent on? Within that, how can we reach the most people possible or make the most money possible, but not without violating that, because there’s all kinds of things you do. I could staff up, I can build a bigger business, whatever, but I’m not interested in spending my days like that. That’s the first thing, is you’ve got to decide what you’re trying to do.The Tim Ferriss Show Transcripts: James Clear, Atomic Habits
I can’t think of anything more important than deciding how you want to spend your days as a baseline for being productive, or just plain sane. This pairs nicely with the following:
Money plays an important role in life, but it can’t be the only filter for how you decide to spend your time. Nobody will ever pay you to go on a date with your spouse or take your kids to the park or grab coffee with your parents.3-2-1: One of the most critical skills in life, and the value of knowing yourself – James Clear
“Think about this: you’re going to spend the next 10 years doing something.”Are You Living an Urgent Life or an Important Life? (jamesclear.com):
How do you want to spend your days?
🗒 HT to Makosim for surfacing the latter links in their recent newsletter 👍🏼