Hack #11
One Goal

My True Story

I must confess: For a long time, I was a “shiny object addict”

I used to get excited by any new idea that came my way. At times, I was working on 6 to 10 projects simultaneously… finishing one at best.

The thing that stimulated me was starting anew. I got an instant rush of dopamine. New project – new reward – new dopamine delivery! My neurons were ecstatic!

For a long time, I thought this was the best way to do it… try a lot of things, and see what pays off.

The downside to this thinking is that if you don’t finish any of the projects, you don’t get to reap what you sow and basically you don’t have the resources to go on with your projects.

I called this time of my life: “The Scattered Age”

I hit a painful wall at that time, and I realised that going on like this would bring me a lot of painful failures along the way.

My recovery took more than 5 years, and I feel so much better now…

During this period, I reduced the number of projects that I worked on at the same time to a maximum of 3. I used to call them “My top 3 priorities”.

Still, I was nowhere near my peak performance potential that I knew I had in me. I used to split myself evenly between my top priorities, even though they were not equally important.

Then, one day, it hit me…

Why don’t I focus exclusively on only ONE project and see what happens?

The results were beyond my wildest imagination…

I honestly can say that I can divide my professional life in two parts: before One Goal and after One Goal, or, “The Scattered Age” and “The Laser Beam Age”.

As Amadeus Mozart said: “The shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at a time”.

What is this Extreme Hack?

It’s an extreme way of prioritizing a busy entrepreneur’s agenda. Instead of working in a lot of small chunks, on a lot of projects, work on one chunk of the most important project for the whole day.

Who is this Extreme Hack for?

It’s for busy entrepreneurs who want to accomplish high-impact projects in the least amount of time.

5 Problems this Extreme Hack Solved for Me

  • Spreading myself too thin
  • Juggling more projects than I could handle
  • Too much time allocated to admin tasks every day
  • Not being able to go deep and wide with my projects
  • The sensation of always being in a constant hurry to get to the next project

The Science Behind this Hack

A light bulb sends out photons in every direction. A laser aligns all photons in one narrow and focused beam. A 150-watt bulb can light up a room. A 150-watt laser will cut a steel plate. This is the difference between having one goal vs multiple goals.
Change takes time and not just every now and then. It requires focused time. Focusing is what transforms and unclear and ambiguous goal into a strong objective that generates impact and significant results.

Reduce everything to the essential… and to the no.1. This is hands down… the best productivity technique invented! There’s a single number one: in any sport, in your heart, in the top 500 Fortune… so, of course, there is only 1 priority that leverages everything else.
Most people fail not because they didn’t do well enough on the second or on the third priority. They struck out because they messed up the first priority!

How it Works:

  • Make a list of 5 goals that you want to achieve today. Put them on a blank sheet of paper on a grid.
  • Take each goal and compare it with each of the others. Each time you compare them, ask yourself: If I have to accomplish only one goal today, which of these 2 will it be?
  • The one that wins, move it to the next space on the grid . After you’ve compared all the goals, add up the number of times each one has appeared, and the one which appeared most often, is your one goal for the day.

Sanity check after you find the Goal of the Day. Ask these questions:

  • If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? (Steve Jobs asked himself this question every day) If the answer is YES, go on.
  • Would I want to call my best friend at the end of the day and brag about this accomplishment?
  • Will this goal count 5 years from now?
  • What advice would “X” (mentor) give me on accomplishing this goal?
  • How could I reach this goal for today if I worked for only 1 hour?
  • What is a completely different way of achieving this goal?

The Wrong Way:

  • Being drawn to address pressing matters
  • It’s quite interesting, but when you work consistently on your no.1 priority, you have way fewer fires to put out. So, this is a remedy in itself.
  • Taking on more than 1 goal, because you think it is not enough
  • Usually, entrepreneurs tend to engage in numerous small projects just as a way to avoid working on an important goal that will require their full time and attention. Don’t do that. Keep your eyes on the prize, and tend to your most important goal.
  • Jumping from one goal today to a completely different, unrelated one the next day
  • Entrepreneurs do tend to suffer from the shiny object syndrome. Due to their lack of patience, if they don’t see results quickly, they jump to another project with hopes that a result will appear sooner. The projects that generate the highest value, typically take more than one day of focused work.

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