What are you hunting?
But let’s not be black and white about it.
There’s a fantastic quote by US Republican politician Newt Gingrich which — and I’m paraphrasing slightly — goes something like this:
Are you hunting antelope or are you hunting field mice?
It ties in to an analogy about how lions that focus on hunting field mice will eventually starve to death because the effort required to catch a mouse exceeds its caloric content.
Instead, lions must hunt antelope. An antelope may be more difficult to chase down, capture and kill, but the meal it provides is substantially better than any number of field mice a lion could catch.
On the whole, antelope are worth the extra time and energy.
Which brings us to your to-do list.
Tell me: how many field mice do you have on that list? These are the little victories. Some are necessary, most aren’t. They give you that regular hit of dopamine but, ultimately, leave you with not a lot in the long run. They’re the time-takers. The energy-drainers.
Now tell me: how many antelopes do you have on that list? These are the big kills. They generally take longer to achieve but give more for you — and/or your business — to feast on until the next kill can be ticked off. These are all necessary, and sometimes they’ll take so long that you just can’t be bothered to get started on them.
For that final reason, you likely focus on hunting field mice over antelope. And that’s okay. I like dopamine hits, too.
So don’t worry too much if you’re a bit in between. We’re not lions. We’re not required to chase antelopes and field mice. It’s okay to want — and need — a bit of both. Not all quotes need to be as black and white as black and white.
But take note. Regularly assess your priorities, re-order your to-do list when priorities change, and focus on the larger prey when necessary.
Just remember: keep hunting.