Picking & Choosing

“Choosing to be miserable is an option, but not one I recommend.” – Darren L. Johnson

So, you’ve learned how to use the 30-30 schedule to improve efficiency, happiness, and time. Now, it’s time to make that even better, by being choosy. For myself, every morning, I only choose 2… maybe 3 things I want to do in a day. That may not seem like a lot, but it really is quite a bit, if you think about it. There’s a few reasons why you should only pick 1-3 things to do per day.

  1. In reality, even people who are self-proclaimed workaholics rarely get more than three (important) things done in a day.
  2. If you pick more than three things to do in a day, you’re likely to just get overwhelmed, freeze, and then unable to do anything (which is why people with huge to-do lists tend to not get things done very quickly).
  3. Picking three or fewer things to do per day will help you figure out what’s actually important, and what’s not (and then help you avoid procrastination).

For those reasons above, I encourage you to give it a try, too. Here’s how you do it (or, at least, one way to do it).

Step 1: Before you do anything, think “if I can only do two things today, what would they be?”

Step 2: When you figure those things out, write them down on something small (like a sticky note). If you have to, you can have a third item, though never add more than three things. I recommend two, starting out. I also recommend that you only write down actionable things, rather than big broad concepts. Big broad concepts will easily get you overwhelmed.

Step 3: Take those actionable steps, play them out in your mind (before you do anything), and then start your timer for 30 minutes and get started.

Despite what you might think, only choosing for yourself a couple (or a few) things to do will actually help you get more done. Worst case scenario is that you don’t get all the things done (which means a bigger list would have been worse). Best case scenario is you get everything on your list done, which means you did 2-3 important things that day. At this point, you can always add another item to your list, or just feel good that you accomplished everything you set out to accomplish. The hardest part for a lot of people is actually just the act of letting go and understanding that two or three important things a day is really good. As soon as you’ve realized that, it’ll feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, and you’ll reach a level of efficiency (and happiness) you didn’t know existed.

By using this method, you can do a couple of things for your Japanese studies.

  1. You can work less on other things by focusing on what’s important. This means you have more time for Japanese.
  2. You can use this method on your Japanese learning, limiting what you’re allowed to learn in a day which helps you to stay focused and get more done.
  3. Combine the two – only allow yourself to do two important things for work (or school) and then make the last important thing for the day studying a particular thing in your Japanese.

You’re starting to get to the point where you’ll be learning more Japanese (because you’re getting pretty good at it!). That means you have to take the big guns out in order to have enough time to keep going. Start with this method and the 30-30 schedule and work from there. I’ll be providing more info in the following pages, but I think everyone will be able to get something out of this page and the last one (plus, you can take action and use these right now).

The next few pages focus on things that are a little more niche. I definitely recommend you read and go through them, just because there’s going to be something relevant for everyone.

By learning the method on this page, you’ve rounded out your “Efficiency Ninja Training.” There will be more, but you can actually take action on these things, so I recommend you start using them right now! Give them both a good try for a week. I’m almost certain you’ll find yourself getting more done, becoming more focused, and a whole lot happier.

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