Here is a great article by Jim Collins, the author of numerous books like “Good to Great” and “Great by Choice” (which I am currently reading). Jim has a legendary work ethic and capacity to focus. He goes so far as to use a stopwatch to monitor and log the time he spends on creative tasks (good!) vs other nonsense and consuming information. His goal is to spend half of his time every day being creative.
In a world where people are overly fixated on to-do lists, he sets goals by first focusing on the things that aren’t worth doing as a means to help clarify the things that do matter.
The 20-10 assignment mentioned in the article got me thinking.
She then gave me what I came to call the 20-10 assignment. It goes like this: Suppose you woke up tomorrow and received two phone calls. The first phone call tells you that you have inherited $20 million, no strings attached. The second tells you that you have an incurable and terminal disease, and you have no more than 10 years to live. What would you do differently, and, in particular, what would you stop doing?
With clarity here you can move on to deciding what really matters. Here are three questions from article to help contemplate those things:
- What are you deeply passionate about?
- What are you are genetically encoded for — what activities do you feel just “made to do”?
- What makes economic sense — what can you make a living at?