Stuck with too much to do and you don’t know where to start?
Print this guide and hang it in front of your desk. These 5 questions provide a simple way to choose where you put your attention next, whether it be for the next couple weeks or the next 30 minutes.
Short Answer: If you have a long list of things you want to do— or need to do, then do the Fastest, Visible, most Valuable thing next.
1. What’s the fastest thing I can finish?
Most people would think that tackling the big hairy goal is the best place to start, but it’s not. If you have a list of 20 things you need to do, then start with the things you can finish most quickly. An example is relieving your debt. If you have 20 debts, pay off the smallest ones first. You build momentum quickly, and you’ll be surprised how much your brain frees up and your soul lightens as the list gets shorter.
2. What will I show for my effort?
Having something to show others is a marker of whether something is actually finished. It also gives you an opportunity to reflect on what happened, an essential step in the Attention Wheel. You want to show your work to someone who can make a difference to what you do, someone who will give you valuable feedback you can use in your next steps.
3. Who will I connect with?
One of the most valuable things you can do is to connect to highly skilled people with integrity doing important stuff. Your connections to people like this will come in handy, and you will learn right away what it means to work at the top of your game.
4. What skills will I learn?
Developing valuable skills, especially rare valuable skills is super valuable. Develop an expertise doing something people need yet nobody else provides? That makes it both valuable and rare— which makes it more valuable.
5. Do I touch my dream?
Don’t put off your dream. Grab a piece of it right away. If you want to write, then write. If you need an audience, put one together this weekend. If you want to invent, then finish the most valuable thing you can show someone, right away. Here’s a surprising personal story with a perfect example.
Don’t do this to a random set of tasks. First group your tasks by role, then group them by projects within your roles. The answers to these questions will come much more easily.
Don’t forget to share this page with people you love.