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Vox Populi: Reasons to Quit

I have a lot of trouble keeping track of what I'm supposed to be doing. It's not that I necessarily have trouble prioritizing my tasks or scheduling things - I mean I do, but that's not the main problem.

The main problem is that I've got too many things I really need (want) to do - too many long-term projects with potential - and I'm never exactly sure when they're a few weeks away from a grand payoff and when they're just wasting my time.

I suppose this is a crisis of faith.

Here's the thing: I'm creative for a living, which means I always have two or three (or 20 or 30) things going on at once, none of which are guaranteed to actually create anything, but all of which could - provided I can focus enough attention to them. You know the kind of thing I'm talking about. Finishing that screenplay. Practicing with the band. Re-editing that short story. Spending the weekend on a film shoot. Learning Photoshop. These are all things that have that point in the middle - the "desperate hour," a creative journalist friend of mine called it - when you're absolutely not sure why you're even there.

And sometimes, the sad truth is, that doubting voice is absolutely right - sometimes, this thing you're sweating over really is just wasting your time.

So here's my question:

How do you know when it's time to move on? What makes you make up your mind?

Because I really need to know.

cornell's picture

simple :-) 80-20

Yes, everyone's heard of Pareto, made popular by Tim Ferriss. Go to the source: Koch's "The 80-20 principle". It's much deeper and far-reaching than most people realize.

In your case you'll have to do a soul-searching analysis of everything on your plate. Ask questions like:

1 which do I absolutely love? 2 which am I fantastic at? 3 which do I hate? 4 which do I suck at?

And most important:

5 Which has the potential of outputs that RADICALLY MULTIPLY my inputs? Which could generate the most money/impact/growth with the least expenditures, assets and effort? Which small and/or simple projects could create big results.

First, toss out or outsource the 3s and 4s. Next, look at the 1s and 2s and evaluate with 5.

And think about this: Be unconventional and eccentric in your use of time.

Hope that helps.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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