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Focus On What Is Really Important To You

Sometimes you cannot do it all right now.

By Michael NaylorPublished about a month ago 4 min read
Focus On What Is Really Important To You
Photo by Surface on Unsplash

Like many of you I am sure, I have lots of projects I want to get completed.

Some of these are personal, some are for my full-time job. Right now I am trying to write online more (at least twice a week is the goal), write a fantasy novel, and create digital products that help teachers. That’s a lot and realistically any one of these things could take up all of my free time with ease.

I have been succeeding with all 3 throughout May.

There have been some bumps in the road during the last two weeks. My full-time job as a teacher isn’t a set amount of hours and sometimes I need to commit more time to it. When this happens there are some non-negotiables in my life that I will not take time from.

Some commitments such as time with family always come first.

So when my job requires more of me these personal projects are where the time needs to come from.

The last few weeks this has meant I have written less online and created no resources. I have still dedicated the same amount of time to my book, however, which is 6 hours every Saturday.

Until the last few weeks, I would have said that all 3 projects were equally important. In reality, my book is what I care about the most and is the last project I will take time from. Writing more online is the second priority and the resources are the lowest priority.

This surprised me at first because the resources are what can actually produce income for me right now. When I reflected on this, I realized this is because writing brings me joy. I also have a full-time job that I enjoy which pays well enough that income does not need to be a factor.

The resources although easy for me to create and profitable, feel like more of my day job. On weeks where I have already given 70+ hours to my job, the last thing I want to do is focus on the same work in my more limited free time.

So writing my book is what I focus on even when I am busy.

This is the project that has the highest probability of failure. The statistics are not on my side for publishing a best-selling fantasy novel.

But with this project, I am focused on the process not on the end result. I enjoy writing the story, I enjoy building this world, and working out how my characters will react to the events unfolding. Even if it never sells a single copy I know writing this book will be worthwhile.

The resources are created solely to make money. I don’t hate making them, and in fact the higher ticket items are the most fun to create as I enjoy looking at the best ways to deliver a given topic. The simple fact is, I would not be making these resources if I was not going to sell them.

I also cannot use them as part of my day job. My contract means that anything that I create for use in my school belongs to them not me. So these resources are created just for my online store. So this will be the last personal project I pick back up and I probably wont work on them much until the summer break now.

Now my job is getting back to its normal workload I can start to focus on writing on medium again.

Taking what I have learned the story I published yesterday was about video games. None of my video game stories have performed well, and I had no reason to believe this one would be any different.

So why did I write a story that probably won’t perform well instead of researching something that will? I enjoyed writing it.

It was a topic I was thinking about and wanted to write about. I am very early in my writing journey at this point and I have a lot to learn.

I need to do the reps and work out where the overlap is between what I enjoy writing about and what people want to read.

For the next 12 months, I am going to make sure I can always post at least two articles a week, but I am not going to tie myself to a particular niche.

I want to spend time honing my craft and trying new things. If I am also constantly worrying about what is working and what isn’t and my stats I know I will quickly lose the joy from the process.

I have so many other ideas that I would like to get started on. I want to create a YouTube channel to make videos on the topics I am writing about. This would allow me to get more content from the research I do. I have decided to put this on hold until the initial 12 months are up.

Once I have my research and writing workflow in a comfortable position then I may look at adding in video.

So if you are feeling a little overwhelmed look at your workload. What projects really matter to you right now? Are these projects getting the time they deserve? If not are there lower priority projects taking time from them? If so postpone or drop these other projects for now and focus on what is really important for you.

To summarise using the wise words of Ron Swanson

Never half-ass two things, whole-ass one thing.

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About the Creator

Michael Naylor

I am a Computer Science teacher in the UK with a variety of interests from education, making learning more accessible and self improvement to tech, gaming, and programming.

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    Michael NaylorWritten by Michael Naylor

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