Quality vs Time

One thing I’ve noticed comes with caring for quality is OCD. Sure, there are lots of people who don’t care for quality that are also OCD about lots of things but, in my case, it usually comes with caring about something more than I probably should.

My Instapaper feed has probably 5000+ items. There’s no good way to tell because Marco blessed us with the absence of badges and notifications. God bless you, Marco! My Instapaper has turned into a dump of all the cool stuff I either started reading or was “told” to read (aka “someone I respect posted it on Twitter”). The problem is: I don’t have time for that. I don’t have time to read all the books I buy, all the articles I save on Instapaper, watch all the screencasts and listen to all the podcasts. I simply don’t.

One thing I know I’m not alone in is fooling myself into thinking I like–no–love something! That includes playing a game, learning a new skill, reading a certain article/book, etc. I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that 1) I don’t have enough hours in the day and 2) if I really wanted to do those things, I’d drop other things I care less about.

A lot folks I respect or am friends with, fool themselves into thinking they love something they want to love. Wait: who am I kidding? I’m talking about me here… I want to learn this and that, I want to research this and that, I want to read this and that. Do you see a trend there? My true love is in learning something new, is in researching some interesting, is in reading anything! The people I follow and respect are currently defining what I target and I’m missing the point… I may be very far from what I truly love but, sometimes, I’m satisfied because I love the processes: learning, researching, reading, etc, but I might be headed in the overall wrong direction.

I don’t know about you but, I need to focus on doing what I love. In some ways, that might be dropping things I currently think I love and focusing on my priorities. Do you feel the same? Here’s my suggestion:

  1. Take a breather
  2. Set your priorities (e.g. wife, family, God, work, hobbies, etc…)
  3. Determine the time you will spend with each priority based on its priority “rank”.
  4. If something is taking more time than it should or maybe not enough of your time and attention, adjust accordingly.
  5. Think about the future (e.g. 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years)… Where do you want to be? Where would you like to be? Where are you headed?
  6. Rinse & Repeat

These are simple questions but don’t let their appearance fool you. Stop fooling youself instead: do more of what you love and less of what you’ve set yourself up to.

Back to the Instapaper backlog and my OCD: instead of trying to read every article there, I shouldn’t be afraid to skim and delete if it doesn’t catch my interest. This is true for everything else… Quality is important in everything you do, but don’t waste your time putting “lipstick on a pig” and truly invest (not spend) your time in bettering yourself as a person and, should you be fortunate, make your dent in the world.

Time doesn’t multiply itself. If you need more time but still care about quality, simply do less but do it better.

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