Hey yo. With all this productivity knowledge from reading blogs and having an awesome slick GTD system in place, why am I not as successful as Tim Ferris or Ryan North already?

Doing Too Much

This goes back to the limes thing. I’m attracted to too many things. Aside from wanting to run a food co-op, I’m also trying to start up a magazine, learn to play guitar, wanting to write stories and poetry, learning to draw, learning to rap, learning about feminism, economics, extreme sports and all sorts of other things…

Not only is it causing a lot of resistance when choosing what I’m doing moment-to-moment (if I do Important Project A today then I won’t have time for Important Project B!) but it means the mental effort I do put into anything I work on is spread too thinly, and the result is sloppy and completely unremarkable.

One Track Mind

I think the trick isn’t to just do one thing at a time, but it’s to do one new thing at a time. Something Leo Babauta’s always harping on about but I never internalised properly. Once you get into the habit of doing something and you don’t have to engage your creative mind every time you do it then you’ve got mental space for something new.

Immersing Yourself

So it can be hard to stay focused on just one thing, especially when you get stuck and there are all sorts of other shiny and far more interesting things floating around.

The way out of this is to externalise your motivation – make it like a current that’s hard to resist, one that drags you along. Find people who are doing similar things, make it into a talking point. Join forums, start meetups, anything you can do to create some feeling of wanting to be working on That Thing.

Communities can be so useful in situations like this. Some of the reasons why include:

  • When the discussion is flowing between two or more people, things tend not to go as stale as when it’s just you and your mind.
  • If you get into a tight spot, you’ve always got support and a fresh pair of eyes who can help you out.
  • Other people can show you the holes in your knowledge that you didn’t even know were there.

Over To You

What projects are you working on at the moment, and what does the community surrounding it look like (if there is one)? Let me know in the comments.