Do you know all those 80 / 20 rules about how 80% of results come from 20% of work? They miss out something essential!
Do you find yourself constantly working on a project, gaining flow and traction in it, but with little time and focus left for the others? You are not alone. Most of us are very good when focusing on one thing for long periods of time.
They are times when we would like to give our undivided attention to one project, and get it off the ground as fast and well as we can (Mission Go get one project deals with this). And sometimes we afford to do this. But they are also times at which we must or want to juggle different projects, and make progress on two or more fronts. Some of these times are obvious because of our work schedule. Some are not obvious, but are easily detected on the inside of our mind.
Time richness is not only about hitting your goals, but also about how you generally feel when inhabiting your time: whether you feel stressed out, or unprepared, or you feel there is enough time for you to get ready for things and launch into them from a place of clarity of mind and energy.
Unfortunately, though many of us enjoy feeling prepared for things, we often sabotage that good feeling by cramming in one extra activity, or staying on an activity for too long, to manage to get more done, before going for that next meeting, activity, or the leisure time for which we would like to feel prepared and in an appropriate mood. Time itself won't ring a bell in our head to tell us we should stop what we are doing and prepare for the next activity. And we won't get extra time to prepare for the next activity just because we wish for it.
Do you have a clear idea about what the things you need and want to do are, or do you find yourself stressed out that you might have forgotten something? Do you know how long the things you are currently taking on will take? Do you have an overview of what’s stuck and what’s working? Do you have a big picture of what your current obligations and commitments are, including the ones to yourself?
Have you ever felt like you do a lot during your day, but like you do not actually achieve much, or that at the end of the day, despite being mentally exhausted, it is hard to even remember what you spent all your day on? Did you ever feel hopeless at the fact that most of your secret wishes, dream projects or ambitious goals never get touched on?
I’ve heard some mean advice, that if you want to make sure that your important things get done by people that constantly check their email, you should send them an email about what needs doing early in the morning. They will probably get the thing done for you before they even get started on any of their real work.
Sometimes routine envelops us and we find ourselves without hope that things will ever get better. Compared to the things we told ourselves we will do, our life, though something to be quite content with in many ways, might seem like is falling short. How are we supposed to feel that we will ever get to the part when our dreams start happening, if we are barely able to cope with the tasks we currently have on our plate?
One of the obstacles in spending our leisure time in a truly entertaining, relaxed or memorable manner is that by the time we get home, do a few domestic tasks, deal with family and hit the pocket of time that we might still have at the end of the day for our own leisure, we are too tired to even know what to do with it. Those are the times when we are most likely to spend most of your evening zoning out in front of the television, in front of a Facebook wall, or pointlessly searching for something nice to do, at the foggy edge of what's left of our focus.
There will be times when you do get impatient, or over-excited about something that you want to make happen.
When you've worked in a balanced way for a while, and you want a big gain to break the routine, or you simply want to make much more progress than normal in a project that is especially dear to you.
When you want to see that project grow, or more, you require it to grow fast, for your own confidence to be restored or strengthened.
It is not rocket science and you probably heard this one before: work in work time, play in play time. Still, between knowing it and applying it there is a gap.
And it is impressive how far this technique, when applied, can take you out of chaos land into relaxed, energized and motivated work land, and how many people think play and relax time is optional, something that can and almost should be invaded by work whenever it is necessary.