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Getting to Simple: How Experts Figure What to Focus On

https://jamesclear.com/getting-simple

jamesclear.com

Getting to Simple: How Experts Figure What to Focus On
Peak performance experts say things like, "You should focus. You need to eliminate the distractions. Commit to one thing and become great at that thing." This is good advice. The more I study successful people from all walks of life-artists, athletes, entrepreneurs, scientists-the more I believe focus is a core factor of success.

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What To Focus On

What To Focus On

To focus you need to eliminate the distractions, commit to one thing and become great at it.

To know what to focus on, try different things for some time until something comes easily and you can master the core fundamentals of the task. This way you can get a sense of what fits you and set yourself up for success by focusing on what works best.

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Deciding On What To Focus

Deciding On What To Focus

To know what's coming easily to you, what you’re performing well on, pay attention and measure the indicators of success in the chosen activity.

At some point, you won't need more information, you will need to make a choice between sticking with the activity or switching to a new one.

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Volume Of Work And Simplification

Volume Of Work And Simplification

Once you have experimented enough and overcome the need for extra information and fear of committing, it's time to put in a consistent volume of work and persist through the grind.

Only through the grind you will be able to bridge the gap between competent and excellent. Then you can simplify because you know what is essential and what is unnecessary.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Productivity is simplicity

True productivity is putting the right things on your to-do list, exclusively answering emails that matter, and only taking meetings that will propel you forwards. 

It...

Helping others

Givers, those who are other-focused, paying more attention to what people need from them, dominate the top of the success ladder.

Productivity shouldn’t only be the pursuit of self-improvement, but also a mission to improve the lives and the work of people we encounter.

Prioritize the work that excites you

Minimize the things you dread and meetings you don't want to attend as much as possible: say “no”, delegate, and automate.

This leaves you to make room on your calendar for discussions that exhilarate you.

When what you spend your time on is congruent with your interests and values, progress feels conveniently close.

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Being “too nice” can cause you problems

Being “too nice” can cause you problems

You're asked to do something, and you feel you should say no. However, if you say no, you'll be resented, so you are tempted to say yes. If you say yes, you're going to be frustrated wi...

Saying NO without guilt

  • Notice how often people around you say no to each other every day. Also watch how others handle these situations.
  • When you feel pressured for a yes, ask for time. It will allow you to calm down and evaluate whether you really want to do it ( "I need to check my calendar; I'll get back to you"/ "I've got to think about that; I'll let you know.")
  • Saying no comfortably requires you to think what your values are. When you live by clear principles, it's easier to make decisions. People are more likely to respect your responses.
  • Keep telling them that you can't help them. Then stay on repeat, even if they bring new angles of reasoning.
  • When you want to help but can't commit to the specifics, make a counteroffer. You can offer someone a different resource or the name of someone else who might help.

Focus on the small improvements

Focus on the small improvements

Doing more in less time is not the ultimate solution to productivity. It's the path to burnout.

Productivity rests more on small improvements. By focusing on the small ...

Identify the small improvements you could make

Most people perform a combination of varied small tasks in a day. There may be many small improvements you could make to your workflow or environment to get more done.

Step one is finding out what those things are. Involve your peers or your manager if you need help with this.

Work on one improvement at a time

Every week, choose one thing from your list and focus on it.

  • Think of ways to improve this one thing.
  • Experiment, and see what works.
  • Talk about this one thing with your manager and ask for feedback.

The goal is to find ways to improve that small part of your work.