You want to get your work done, you really do.
What do you want?
- A gallery of finished paintings?
- A shelf of published books?
- Your name on the New York Times bestsellers list?
- A drawer of cash, a profitable business, more time of your kids?
- What do you want?
- What is your DESIRED END RESULT?
At the end of the day, are you any closer to your end result than you were in the morning?
How do you know?
You define the end result (goal) and then you define the work that gets you there.
Your primary work, your productive work, is the actual work that gets you closer to your desired end result. And the amount of that primary work you should do each and every day is your critical inch. For writers, it’s the word count.
Secondary work is the supporting action. It’s marketing, maybe. It’s building your customer base or your contacts or tweaking, but it’s not producing. It’s easy to spend a lot of time on secondary work. So much time that you find you’ve squeezed out any chance of doing that primary work.
You’ve got to define your work first and then you’ve got to set goals for that daily work, the critical inch you need to accomplish each day.
Then make sure you do that critical inch each day.
You’ll have off days. You’ll have days when you feel like you don’t know what you did, or what you accomplished, or how the 12, 14, 16 hours zoomed by and why you have nothing to show for them. There will be days composed entirely of interruptions and distractions.
But that’s okay. FOCUS ON THE CRITICAL INCH. Define it, measure it, and do it. Make sure you’re gaining that ground every single week. If you are, other things might fall apart, but you can rest assured knowing you’re making progress toward your desired end result.