Balance and Parkinson’s Law

I admire people who have tremendous focus. In many cases these same people have their hands in several projects, plus family, plus personal interests, and they keep everything going.

I have not had the same experience in my life. The more I have going on, the less focused I am.

You might be thinking, “Well take some projects off your plate!” And, in a vacuum you may be right.

Yet I look at these people who do a lot, and I am attracted to their lifestyle, not the material aspect, but the accomplishment aspect. They do a ton of great things.

So, I started looking at what’s on my plate.

  1. Wife (my best friend and favorite person / will be with be forever)
  2. Kids (four of them / my legacy and future of my family)
  3. EnvoyFM (startup that is more or less stable)
  4. FM Dashboard (startup that is in customer discovery and early growth mode)
  5. Reading (personal health / self education / professional development)
  6. Writing (personal health ?
  7. Leaning to code (personal health / self education / core skill for my businesses)
  8. Exercise (personal health)

This list is a lot of time investment and a lot of work. The problem though is not in too much on my plate. The problem is in a lack of defined portions and 1 missing ingredient…mental rest.

The people who balance a lot know and leverage Parkinson’s Law: If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do.

They put their priorities, projects, and responsibilities into containers…all of them.

They give them time frames.

They focus on one thing at a time.

They move on mentally and physically.

I am going to be trying this out over the next 4 weeks. Every day will be planned out including time to rest.

I am only going to focus on the container in front of me.

I am going to schedule time to have mental rest where I will not focus on anything.

Each container gets my 100% attention. All other channels are turned off. It’s a firmer YES and NO.

I will put time constraints on my containers to remind me to make the most of the time I have.

There will be PRIORITY events which can and will interrupt whatever I am currently doing.

I will not add anything to my list except mental rest like I mentioned earlier.

I hope to gain lower levels of stress and higher levels of productivity.

Reduced stress will come from eliminating the feeling of “still more work to do” which I believe comes from an anxiety of “not doing enough.”

Increased productivity will come from my mind not wandering into other tasks while I work on what’s at hand.

After 4 weeks, I am going to evaluate how things are working and make adjustments.

I plan on blogging about the process as I go along so tune in if you are interested.

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