The thing that matters

Sometimes we get too carried away with our everyday life that we lost focus on our goals and passion. But no matter how busy or tired we are, we should always make time for things that really matter to us. I'm sure everyone have their own goals and achievements they would like to accomplish. You might want to earn a certain amount of money by a certain age, or complete a monumental task given to you or even just losing weight to look better. These are the things that matter to you.

Life is too short not to do something that matters - Hugh Macleod

If you have the time to chill out, eat and sleep, why isn't there time for you to do things that actually makes a difference. Stop messing around and focus on the thing that really matters to you. You'll probably be happier too.

Set a deadline

If you have trouble getting things done, consider setting yourself a deadline to complete it. Done right, this can motivate and focus your mind on things that matters. When you have a deadline, it narrows your focus. You are now focused on getting that one thing done. It makes it easier to start and easier to achieve. Software companies like Atlassian organize 24-hour code fest (named Fedex day) to get new product ideas.

The time constraint you imposed on yourself can also help you keep things in check. Because there is limited time available, you are forced to do things that are really needed. 37signals used constraints to prevent their software from having too many unnecessary features.

The deadline itself should also be seen as a motivator. Sales and deals have a deadline for a reason. It gets people to act and over time, meeting deadlines itself can be a reward. But try avoid those deals if you can.

Obviously, none of this will work if you don't enforce the deadline. You could try set up some punishment for missing it or reward yourself for meeting it. Either way, tell yourself that you need to meet the deadline one way or another.

Start setting deadlines and maybe you can get more done.

One at a time

They say women are better in multi-tasking than men. I say if you want to get something done, something that matters, you have got to do it one at a time. Focus is the key and luckily both men and women can do just as well. If you focus on a single task, it's way easier to get started. Shut out the distractions and concentrate on the task at hand.

It also helps to get you into the flow. It's like a mental state where you are fully immersed by what you are doing and sometimes referred to as the zone. Programmers often get into the zone and lose track of time.

Another benefit of this approach is that you can prevent yourself from getting the idea-to-idea syndrome. You spend your time and effort on execution instead of coming up with new exciting stuff to do.

Most importantly, by doing one thing at a time, chances of completing the task is way higher. All these small victories will slowly build up your momentum and confidence.

Time to get started on your goals and ideas, one at a time.

All about winning

I'm quite a competitive person. I don't only like to win arguments, I like to win in just about anything. The only reason I play a game is to beat it. Obviously, I don't get to win all the time but the urge to win keeps me motivated.

Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing - Henry Russell Sanders

Turns out there are quite a few advantages with this must-win philosophy. The most obvious would be the motivation you get if you are hell-bent on winning. Before jumping into a new game, I prefer to do some research and read strategy guides. Every exploit in the game will be utilized as long as it's not considered cheating.

As many of you know, to get really good at something, you need to focus and invest lots of time in it. What this means is that, in order to win, you need to focus on only the things that matters and ignore everything else. This automatically makes you a minimalist.

Arguably the most important aspect of this, is the confidence you gained from winning. This allows you to build success on top of your previous successes and let's you tackle bigger and bigger things from the momentum.

I guess it's time to start winning?