Finding Your “Sweet Spot” of Effectiveness

An excellent episode of the Accidental Creative podcast by Todd Henry: Audio (Overcast)Transcript

Having worked with and interviewed hundreds of professionals, I’ve come to believe that each person also has a “sweet spot”. It’s comprised of the situations and activities where they are maximally effective, and where they create the most unique value for their effort… Here are a few of the key insights I gained about finding your sweet spot:

  • To find your sweet spot, you must act first and sort later.
  • Your sweet spot is not always something you enjoy.
  • Finding your sweet spot is not necessary, which is why many people never do it.

How to Succeed at Work: Focus!

Shane Parrish for Farnam Street:

The Premise

As I looked around, I noticed that the most successful people I know have one thing in common: they are masters at eliminating the unnecessary from their lives. The French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry hit on the same idea, writing in his memoir, “Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.” This principle, it turns out, is the key to success.

The Method

Here’s one method to help you choose what to focus on and how to use your time (it’s a mix of time blocking and a variation of Warren Buffet’s two-list system):

  • Step 1: Change how you think about your day. Think of your day as having 96 blocks of energy, with each block being a 15-minute chunk of time.
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  • Step 2: Write a list of all the goals you have.
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  • Step 3: Circle your top three goals.
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  • Step 4: Eliminate everything else

Conclusion

It’s all about FOCUS.

Farnam Street Principles

Farnam Street via Art of Manliness:

All that we write about, think about, and strive to achieve is inspired by one or more of the following principles. We hope they offer some clarity about what our community believes, and perhaps some direction as you carve your own path.

  1. Direction Over Speed
  2. Live Deliberately
  3. Thoughful Opinions Held Loosely
  4. Principles Outlive Tactics
  5. Own Your Actions

Farnam Street is Shane Parish’s blog about better thinking and better decision making. Not sure how why I’ve never come across this before, but it’s now in my RSS feed.

Perfectionism Makes Me Insane

Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird:

Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a s****y first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.