Seth Godin is one of my favorite gurus. I started to say “marketing gurus” but in reality, he’s more of a life guru with a marketing background – his ideas are often as much about deleting extraneous fluff and focusing on quality efforts in daily life as they are about doing so in business. His post yesterday elegantly reminded me of some of the priorities I so often neglect. The second half of a great post:
(…) here’s a bootstrapper’s/marketer’s/entrepreneur’s/fast-rising executive’s effort diet. Go through the list and decide whether or not it’s worth it. Or make up your own diet. Effort is a choice, at least make it on purpose:
1. Delete 120 minutes a day of ‘spare time’ from your life. This can include TV, reading the newspaper, commuting, wasting time in social networks and meetings. Up to you.
2. Spend the 120 minutes doing this instead:
Exercise for thirty minutes.
Read relevant non-fiction (trade magazines, journals, business books, blogs, etc.)
Send three thank you notes.
Learn new digital techniques (spreadsheet macros, Firefox shortcuts, productivity tools, graphic design, html coding)
Blog for five minutes about something you learned.
Give a speech once a month about something you don’t currently know a lot about.
3. Spend at least one weekend day doing absolutely nothing but being with people you love.
4. Only spend money, for one year, on things you absolutely need to get by. Save the rest, relentlessly.
If you somehow pulled this off, then six months from now, you would be the fittest, best rested, most intelligent, best funded and motivated person in your office or your field. You would know how to do things other people don’t, you’d have a wider network and you’d be more focused. (emphasis mine)
It’s entirely possible that this won’t be sufficient, and you will continue to need better luck. But it’s a lot more likely you’ll get lucky, I bet.
You can read this post in full here: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/10/is-effort-a-myt.html