Decide What Not to Do

Focus is a matter of deciding what things you’re not going to do.
John Carmack

A lot of the people I talk to tell me that they have trouble making time to work on their goals.

I struggle with making time to work on things I care about too.

The reality is that I’m not too busy or spread too thin, it’s that I’m not deciding to skip the things I don’t care about.

On a day that I want to code, blog, and spend time with my wife, I have to decide that I won’t play video games or watch a movie. I can’t passively hope that extra time will appear in my day. Rest and relaxation is good, but ignoring the trivial is how you focus on the important.

The same thing can happen to us at work. Being productive and getting big wins is the result of being able to fight one battle at a time. You have to pick which battle you want to fight. That means consciously deciding where you’re NOT going to spend energy.