Here’s a little story for your consideration:
One day, a man approached JP Morgan, held up an envelope, and said, “Sir, in my hand I hold a guaranteed formula for success, which I will gladly sell to you for $25,000.”
“Sir,” JP Morgan replied, “I do not know what is in the envelope. However, if you show me and I like it, I give you my word as a gentleman that I will pay you what you ask.”
The man agreed to the terms and handed over the envelope. JP Morgan opened it, and extracted a single sheet of paper. He gave it one look and handed the piece of paper back to the gent, pulled out his checkbook, and paid the man the agreed-upon $25,000.
The paper read:
- Every morning, write a list of the things that need to be done that day.
- DO THEM.
It’s such a simple concept, yet so difficult to carry out. We allow ourselves to easily be distracted by things that might seem urgent, but often are unimportant if you look at the big picture.
When I am feeling swamped and I’m allowing the day-to-day things to distract me, I try to remind myself to ask two questions:
- What am I trying to accomplish?
- Will what is distracting me matter in five years?