When I first started down this road called business I was like a giddy kid in a candy store. Whenever I heard of a new or different business ideas I wanted to do it!
I just could. not. say. no. to new ideas.
Flip houses? Sure, I can do that!
Start an e-commerce store? No problem!
Sell on Amazon? Sounds great!
I could see the possibility in everything, and wanted to do it all.
The problem with doing it all though is that when you do everything, nothing of depth and substance gets done or created.
I flipped a few houses, but then I learned about e-commerce.
I started an e-commerce store, but it peaked at $20,000 / mo (small potatoes in e-comm) and I was soon off to a new adventure.
I sold on Amazon, but again changed directions once I started to get results.
It took a number of years to realize I was going everywhere and no where at once.
Pick One Thing And Say No To Everything Else
I read a quote awhile back, I think by Aristotle, that went something like “a friend to everyone is a friend to no-one.”
The same is true in business and productivity.
When you disperse your efforts and lack focus your energy lightly touches many things, but never deeply impacts anything.
To really get things done, you need to choose ONE direction and say NO to everything else.
And this is true of literally every goal you could possibly choose to follow.
How To Say No
“How to say no” is kind of an odd thing to talk about.
I mean it’s obvious, you just say “no”.
But as I’m sure you know, the reality of saying “no” is a little more difficult than first impressions would assume.
Even when we have the best intentions to stay on course, there’s inevitably something that comes up to distract us away.
Papers. Doors. Windows.
The easiest way that I’ve found to truly stay on course is to follow what I dubbed the “paper, doors, windows” formula of productivity.
Every month I’ll commit to paper the exact ONE huge project that I need to complete to accomplish the life goal I’m working on at the moment – be it business, health or relationship related.
Then, I’ll break that ONE giant goal down into 4 manageable chunks and as many little deliverables as I can complete in a given week.
Finally, at the beginning of each day I finish my morning routine, put the paper that has my goal on my desk, close the door to my office, and close both the physical window as well as any window that may be up on my computer.
I then proceed to work single-mindedly on that one task laid out on my desk.
And I’ll work until it’s done.
Once it’s done, I open the windows and doors and bring myself back into society. But not until after it’s done.
I truly believe that the physical barriers are vitally important when it comes to productivity.
If the doors open or your phone’s on, someone is going to come say hi! Those damn nice people!
If you haven’t written down what you’re going to accomplish, your mind will come up with something that just HAS to be done right then and there.
It’s just how it works.
So if you’re struggling to “get shit done”, remember – Papers. Doors. Windows.