Last week, I got all fired up about Justin Jackson’s Mega Maker Challenge
. He’s committing to making 100 things in 2016.
O N E . H U N D R E D .
Wait, whaaaaat?! That’s a lot of things.
I barely have time to make my one thing.
I signed up anyway. Logic being: I can make less stuff than Justin and still be pretty proud of myself.
But… I’m starting to second-guess that decision.
In Episode 68 of the Bootstrapped with Kids podcast
, Scott and Brecht gave their friend “Ken” the advice to (and I’m paraphrasing here) be sure he’s working above threshold at all times. For all your endeavors, Scott said, there’s a threshold of effort needed to move forward. You can feel really “busy” working on something, but if it isn’t meeting or exceeding that certain threshold, it’s just useless activity that won’t lead to the outcome you’re striving for.
And he’s totally correct.
Instead of making a bunch of things, I’m going the other direction.
In 2015, I read a cool book by U.K. Olympic rower Ben Hunt-Davis. In his book
, he talks about how every decision his rowing team made leading up to the 2000 Olympics hinged around one central question: “Will This Make The Boat Go Faster?
For every minuscule decision, that was the test for how they decided to say Yes or No.
Will going out to the pub for beers tonight make the boat go faster? No? Then it doesn’t happen.
Will an extra rep on the inclined bench press make the boat go faster? Yes it will. Then, cool, spot me while I dig deep and smash out this extra rep.
It’s a timeless lesson, and it’s going to be my motto in 2016.
It’s a simple reminder that in order to accomplish goals in 2016, while still staying present in my marriage and family, while still being effective in my day job, I need to be equally ruthless about even the small actions.
I have a sticky note on my monitor here with that simple question: “Will This Make The Boat Go Faster?” When I see it, I should ask myself, is the thing I’m doing — right now, at this second — in alignment with my goals?
I probably won’t get 100 things made this year. And that’s just fine.