More Dalio. From Principles -
201) Make sure all the “must do’s” are above the bar before you do anything else. First, distinguish between your “must do’s” and your “like to do’s”. Don’t overlook any “must do’s,” and don’t mistakenly slip the “like to do’s” onto the list. Then, get all the “must do’s” above the bar. Then get all the “must do’s” excellent. If you have time, turn to the “like to do’s” and try to get them above the bar. Only if you have time (though you certainly will not if you are thinking broadly), turn toward making things perfect. Chances are, you won’t have to deal with the unimportant things, which is better than not having time to deal with the important things. I often hear people say, "Wouldn’t it be good to do this or that,” referring to nice-to-do’s rather than must-do’s that have to be above the bar. Chances are, they are being distracted from far more important things that need to be done well.
1. Distinguish between "must do" and "like-to-do"
2. Double-check that every "must do" is on the must-do-list, and that you aren't sneaking "like-to-do's" onto the must-do-list.
3. Get all must-do's above the bar.
4. Get all must-do's excellent.
5. Don't make things perfect - you won't have time. Get to excellent on the must-do's, be happy there.
6. He then says you probably don't even have to do the like-to-do's - if you focus on getting life's "must-do's" excellent and moving forwards, you're probably going to be much better off.
I often hear people say, "Wouldn’t it be good to do this or that,” referring to nice-to-do’s rather than must-do’s that have to be above the bar. Chances are, they are being distracted from far more important things that need to be done well.
I read the dalio principles when you first mentioned it. The thing that really struck with me is the process to get anything you really want done. This guy knows what he's talking about (Forbes 400 anyone?).
What I really loved with it is how he explains that you must take hours to create the plan before you sit down and do do do.
For so long in my life, I felt guilty/wrong for spending hours on designing a plan instead of actually working. This led me to create a half-assed plan and to not follow through, everytime.
This time, it's different. I'm following his procedure to get what I want and I'm literally investing hours of my time to create a plan that I will follow (using the must-do first vs i like to do).
Let me summarize it in a nutshell for the readers out there. Seriously, this is AWESOME, just like a golden recipe for achieving successfully goals that are linked to your values. Let's do this:
"Values->Goals->Identify Problems->Diagnose problems (real root causes)->Designing a plan->Doing the plan"
1) Discovering your values - "Everything you do has to resonate with your inner values ". I recommend using Steve Pavlina's list of values as a start, go through it and identify yours: http://www.stevepavlina.com/articles/list-of-values.htm
2) Setting goals - "Once you commit to a goal, it might take lots of thinking and many revisions to your plan over a considerable time period in order to finalize the design and do the tasks to achieve it. So you need to set goals without yet assessing wether or not you can achieve them". Set HIGH goals even if you don't know how to do them. You need ambitious goals to keep yourself motivated. You will find how to reach it along the way. "Avoid setting goals based on what you think you can achieve."
3) Identifying and not tolerating problems - "While it can be tempting to react emotionally to problems and seek sympathy or blame others, this accomplishes nothing. Whatever the reasons, you have to get over the impediments to succeed. Remember that the pains you are feeling are "growing pains" that will test your character and reward you if you push through them. Try to look at your problems as a detached observer would. Remember that identifying problems is like finding gems embedded in puzzles; if you solve the puzzles you will get the gems that will make your life much better. Doing this continuously will lead to your rapid evolution. So, if you're logical, you really should get EXCITED about finding problems because identifying them will BRING YOU CLOSER TO YOUR GOALS."
4) Diagnosing the problems - "You will be much more effective if you focus on diagnosis and design rather than jumping to solutions. It is a very common mistake for people to move directly from identifying a tough problem to a proposed solution in a nanosecond without spending the hours required to properly diagnose and design a solution. You must be calm and logical. You must get at the root causes. More than anything else, what differentiates people who live up to thei rpotential from those who don't is a willingness to look at themselves and others objectively. There is no getting around the fact that achieveing success requires getting at the root causes of all important problems, and people's mistakes and weaknesses are sometimes the root causes. So to be successful, you must be willing to look at your own behavior and the behavior of others as possible causes of problems."
5) Designing the Plan - "...an effective design requires thinking things through and visualizing how things will come together and unfold over time. You should visualize this plan through time, like watching a movie that connects your past, present and future. Then write down the plan so you don't lose sight of it, and include who needs to do what and when. The list of tasks falls out from this story (the plan), but they are not the same. The story, or plan, is what connects your goals to the tasks. For you to succeed, you must not lose sight of the goals or the story while focusing on the tasks; you must constantly refer back and forth.
6) Do - Simply refer to this post :) Important to prioritize rationally and do the must-do's first - and giving it your best shot ever everytime.
"Is Exponential Growth Possible?" got a few really good comments. Riley Harrison left a really good comment and questions -
A great blog. One of the realizations that helped me was comprehending that if an insight or epiphany wasn’t actionable (didn’t lead to action) it wasn’t of much value (other than recreational). I have thought way too many deep thoughts, read too many self-empowerment books searching for the non-existent silver bullet (insight) that would allow me to bypass hard work, accumulation of small victories and risk taking.
The traditional barriers/obstacles (time, money, energy, risk taking etc) are to me somewhat secondary to just plain old inertia. But being at the right place at the right time – is that serendipitous luck or something else. You do have to factor into the equation that you are shooting at a moving target (circumstances change and you change) – times stands still for no man… As to the list of things to make you grow I would add that being conversant in the latest findings in neuroscience and positive psychology wouldn’t hurt.
Anticipation. Nerves. Excitement. Uncontrollable fits of random smiling. I experience all of the above on the day of a show. The feelings never get old. If it ever got to the point at which I lacked any and all feelings before a performance, I would probably quit. Nonetheless, it is always an exciting time for me. Tonight, I finally play my show at the Rutledge. This show has been booked for months, and the day has finally arrived. It's gonna be so much FUN!!!! People will finally hear some of my songs in the ways they were intended to be heard--with drum and bass. This kicks off a whole slew of shows to promote my forthcoming album "Seahorses" which is due out in November. I've been running my list in my head. My "list" being all the things I've learned from past shows. It's a good solid list of do's and don'ts. Most of it is internal. You might find this odd, but I also do a good bit of mental preparation before a show. I've learned that about 90% of what determines the outcome of a show is in the performer's head. If they've practiced enough, the actual material shouldn't be the problem. For that matter, you can practice a piece five million times, and you can still mess it up at the actual performance. I view a show as an intimate exchange of thoughts and ideas. In return for the audiences' attention and attendance, I give all that I have to give in return--a full throttle display of artistry and grace. Well, I must get going. There are still things to do to get ready for the show. By the way, while I was writing this post, I got a very random, but HUGELY awesome, surprise. I'll tell you more about it later. Have a flower!! (And think happy thoughts about me around 8PM tonight!!) HUGS!!! -g