We have limited hours everyday.
In any given day, we can’t always utilize every hour of the day. To get the most done, you must quit many things. You must quit projects, say “NO” to things, so you can succeed at your goals.
We are always being reminded not to quit, just go for it, just do it. Any motivational seminar, video or quote tells us to never quit.
But does this kind of motivation really works?
It doesn’t, here’s why:
I was your average highly motivated productive person. I would get done many things, and I was really proud of myself.
I was admired by people around me, because of how much work I do.
But I had this one flaw:
I could not say “NO” to anything. Just like you, I get new ideas everyweek to do something new. I would get pitched a new idea, a new joint venture on a regular basis.
As a result I was doing a dozen of things all at once.
It created an illusion that I was getting so much done, and I am super busy.
But if I examine the individual projects, I would see a bunch of half-baked things.
Things that are sucking my time.
The moment of realization came when I read the book The Dip from Seth Godin. All my life I was told you should never quit. But this book taught me, you should quit. You should quit early.
Finishing the book, I started to rearrange my work life. I knew I had to quit everything I am doing.
To be successful, you must quit every other thing and focus on just one thing only. When you are focused with that one thing, only then you will get the true success out of it.
The motivational advice comes handy then: don’t quit, keep going, just do it the thing you decided to work on.
Seth taught me to quit. Quit early, quit often. But once you have already into it deep, you are in the dip, don’t quit.
No is my new best friend. I am saying “NO” to almost everything that comes to me. New ideas, new ventures, new partnerships, new offers, I turn down everything. First I must complete my current goal at hand, and once I am fully satisfied with the progress, only then I will accept something else.
This helped me to work on just a few things, as oppose to doing 10 different things at a time.
A Gift From The Past
Quitting is not easy. Especially when you have spent so much time and energy into something.
How can you quit something, that you put many years into?
Seth Godin recieved a similar question and his answer helped me very much. It goes something like this, better explained in this video from (Break the Twitch):
Imagine your past self gifted you something. Now you don’t have any space left in your closet to put that in. If you just get rid of the gift, you can make room for new stuff. You must treat that as a gift from your past self and remove it just as you would do with any old tangible good.
Don’t Quit Emotionally, Make a Plan
Making emotional decisions can cost you a lot. Instead make a plan. Just give yourself some time and conditions.
Write down in paper: If I don’t get X amount of return within Y amount of time, I will quit this thing.
Give it some reasonable timeframe like 6-12 months and a reasonable outcome. What happens when you meet the goal? Make another timeframe. This will definitely help you keep the projects that work for you and get rid of the ones that are pulling you down.
The idea of quiting is horrible, embarrassing, and scary. It makes you look like a looser to other people. But if you quit properly, you will be left with only the things that matter to you most.