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From 40 to 14. Why doing 40 things is rediculous

By October 22, 2013January 15th, 2020Uncategorized

A few weeks ago, I set out to generate 40 new action steps toward one particular goal of mine. My last 14 blogs are all about the lessons I learned along the way.

But here I am, a few weeks later and I’m dreading coming up with new actions. As I sat down to think about the reasons for this, I came to an easy conclusion. Coming up with 40 new things to do is exhausting, overwhelming and ineffective. What was I thinking?

You’d think if anyone would know the ridiculousness of trying to do 40 things, it would be me. But even the most organized, efficient people sometimes take on more than they can handle.

In The Four Disciplines of Execution, Franklin Covey taught that today’s goals become tomorrow’s whirlwind. For instance, brushing your teeth was once a goal for you. But as you grew older, brushing your teeth just became part of your normal whirlwind of life.

Covey taught that we can only accomplish 1-3 goals effectively. Aiming at more goals than three brings into effect the law of diminishing returns. So if you set 4-10 goals you’ll accomplish one. If you set 11 or more goals, you’ll accomplish one. The same is true of actions. Try to do too many of them and your effectiveness will decrease. With any goal, set 1-3 actions that will get you toward success. Setting too many will wear you out and make you ineffective.

So, for my partners who have joined me in 40 days of momentum, what should you do? Look over your last few weeks and determine which actions yielded you the most fruit. Identify the 1-3 actions that gave you the most success and do them repeatedly, that’s what I’m doing.

I’ll be up front and honest – you just can’t do 40 things. But you can do three. Focusing on a few effective actions and doing them repeatedly will take you to your goal a lot faster than trying to do tons of little things.

So what about my 40 days of momentum project? Stay tuned. I’m going to consolidate my learning into a little project that you’ll see in the soon future.

This post marks the conclusion of an undertaking I called, 40 days of action, how to generate momentum on your most important goals. If you’d like to read the original blog, click here. If this post benefited you in any way, I’d love to hear about it. click here to email me.