Lifehacker reader Rod put me onto an interesting article espousing a rather different view of the world - which advises curbing overachieving tendencies and goals to become a sustainable achiever. Entitled "Have an Average Day", the article suggests that by shedding the heavy expectations you place on yourself, you're freed up to get down to actually working on what you want to do.
I particularly liked the examples the author uses to illustrate the 'exceptional impact of a series of average days':
1. Choose an area of your life in which you have been trying to excel, such as writing, sales, or being a parent.
2. Consider what would constitute an average day in that area. For a writer that might be 90 minutes of writing; in sales that might be speaking with five new prospects; a parent might aim to spend an hour a day 100 percent focused on the kids.
3. Project forward. If you did nothing but repeat your average day five days a week, what would you accomplish in three months? A year? Five years?
Writing 100 or so hours over a three-month period is enough to complete a book; in a year that would be two books, some poetry, and a screenplay. Speaking with 100 new prospects over the course of a month would definitely lead to new sales.
A parent who spends at least an hour a day focused on children racks up 90 hours in three months. In five years, if a parent made even a small difference in each of the 1,800 hours she or he spent, the impact would be anything but average.
The notion is similar to the suggestion that you work in increments to beat anxiety, which we wrote about earlier this week. Thanks for the tip, Rod.
Have an Average Day [UTNE Reader]