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North Star

I get it. You don’t even have time to read this. You’re probably reading this on the toilet now, so I’ll be quick. This is the most practical guide you’ll ever read to finding and following your north star.

You’re not a procrastinator, at least not any more. You live in a golden cage, the bars of which are made up of all of the wonderful tasks and projects you don’t know how say no to. You’re so deeply grateful for and humbled by the bars of your cage that you don’t think you deserve to say no. And you don’t even think you get to complain about your situation because life has made you so much more successful than you ever dreamt.

Yet here you are, miserable in the gilded cage of your google calendar. Something has to give.

How to Do an Energy Audit

Week 1: Does it give you energy or take your energy?

On Monday morning, look at the last week’s schedule and rate each meeting task, or project on an 1 to 5 scale, with 1 as “sucked the life out of me” and 5 as “left me with sunshine pouring out of me.” Note, this is not how you felt about it before you got started, it is how you felt when it was done. That’s it for week one. Start small and pat yourself on the back.

Week 2: Water the tomatoes, not the weeds

Again on Monday, rate each meeting, project and task you completed. Add to your calendar 10 minutes each morning to do something that pushes forward whichever task, people or projects consistently rated the highest over the last two weeks.

Here’s the simple rule: the thing you give your attention and energy to will grow. Stop watering the weeds if you don’t want weeds in your garden. Water the delicious tomatoes and they’ll give you fruit!

Week 3 onward: Pull the weeds

This week, you’ll continue doing 10 minutes every day adding energy to the things that give you energy. On Monday morning, again rate every meeting or task 1 to 5.

Add one question — ask yourself if there is one thing you can delete from your schedule! Don’t reschedule it; bite the bullet and cancel it. Kill the things that rated low on the scale, duh. We have a huge lie in our Protestant work ethic that says work is supposed to be hard. That’s a bunch of baloney. Your greatest contributions are things that come with such effortlessness you scarcely recognize them as work.

See the shadow reversal > ENVY