It’s so easy losing track of one’s priorities
I’m reading Tim Ferriss’ book The Four Hour Workweek again. I’m in Lisbon to get more of the New Rich feeling.
It’s not the first time I read the book. In fact I’ve read it twice already. So why am I not where I thought I would be ages ago?
I think it comes down to one thing: lack of clarity.
Lack of clarity first comes as poor planning. For a good few years I was planning my days (mostly) the evening after, which for me is an absolute must to ensure that I’m not running around like a chicken without a head.
What I did not do though was asking whether what I’m doing was making impact on my path towards financial independence. Not all day long, but in the morning before I start working on a contract, I have about 2 hours that I decided to dedicate to this pursuit.
My weakness was “doing research”. I love reading and learning, but that’s not doing. It’s hard to read your way towards financial independence.
Lack of clarity was also manifested in not really knowing what I want to do. I had a project that was great on paper, except I didn’t accept it internally as something I want to do. It’s quite hard to explain and it has everything to do with what I wrote recently about the difference between intellectual understanding and knowing. Just because something makes sense intellectually doesn’t mean we should do it, at least until we address whatever we resist in ourselves.
And then there’s lack of clarity in form of poor reflection. How is it possible that until now I didn’t went like “oh wait a minute, I’m actually not doing anything that will help me to get to where I want to go?”.
Poor reflection breaks down to two areas: lack of mindfulness in combination with lack of clear priorities and lack of a good daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly reflection process.
I addressed lack of mindfulness with regular meditation practice. It does work, really. (I use the Headspace app.)
As for clear priorities, I have a daily checklist of 4 items that must be done every day, Monday to Saturday. It’s M for meditation, E for exercise, L for long-term value (this currently means financial independence to me) and C for cleaning (which means every evening I put every item I used to its place so I don’t accumulate mess, also goes for closing tabs and programs).
This goes into my paper diary and I check these items off day after day. Seeing it on paper is an important bit, it’s quite satisfying checking the items day by day and not breaking the chain.
Lack of a good daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly reflection process is something I’m yet to address. I’m getting more organised, but it’s still not as smooth as it should be.
Another thing that helps is I started with journaling. In the evening (and I’m not saying every evening, but I’m hopefully getting there) I sit down and write about my day. It helps me to evaluate how the day went, what was effective and what wasn’t.
Right now I’m working on an info product. That’s one of the reasons I try to write often, to practice.