The myth of obsession and 24 hour workdays

For the longest time this concept of being obsessed with my goals was counterproductive to me. I would rather have a clear head than obsess about something. I’m really into meditation and being obsessed doesn’t seem like a fun thing to do. But after hearing about it more than a few times and doing some research I realized it actually means aligning your whole life with your goals.

That is how these success gurus can brag they work every waking hour, they are just living their life which is aligned with their mission. Let’s look closely at what Obsession is and what it isn’t.

Obsession is not obsessive thinking

Being an introvert I can easily get into overthinking patterns. This is completely unproductive because it prevents me from taking action. So being obsessed is not the same as obsessing about something.

Obsession is not only about taking action

Obviously to make anything happen, taking action is the most important thing.

But there are so many types of action that can be taken towards your goals so just stating “take more action” doesn’t do it justice. Let’s explore further.

Obsession is aligning your whole life towards your goals

This is the true definition, it’s not thinking and obsessing and visualizing about your goals. Neither is it working like a mad man all day, success is a marathon not a sprint. It is about living a healthy and balanced life but aligning all parts of it with your goals.

Keep your attention to yourself

Attention is the only thing that makes things valuable in this world. For a long time TV and Radio got our attention and they had the most value. Then we switched over to our apps and social media, now they have the most value.

The best thing you can do for yourself, your business and your future is to keep most of your attention to yourself, your progress and your goals.

As I said attention is the only thing that gives value to man-made things.

Sports, Movies, Music, Social Media, The Internet, all these things are optional, not necessary for our survival, and yet they are one of the most valuable in our society because everyone watches them and pays attention to them.

Give your full attention to your goals, projects, business and their value will increase. It must start with your attention before anyone else can give theirs. You must care first before anyone else can care as well.

But remember elimination is more important than addition. Don’t just add new goals to pay attention to, you must eliminate the stupid stuff from above to save up your attention for the important things.

Align your hobbies with your goals

For physical hobbies like going to the gym, playing sports, hiking, running, the common advice is to listen to audiobooks or podcasts and become even smarter while working out. This is completely backwards. Physical activities are the best way for your brain to relax and process the information you have worked on before. So leave those headphones at home and be present while working out. Give your brain time to connect the dots and come up with new ideas.

Align your social life with your goals

If you’re a developer launching a side-project, hanging out with other developers won’t help you get more customers. Instead, expand your social circle with other founders, marketers, designers, bloggers, influencers, people that can help you get better in the things you’re lacking.

If you’re a non-technical founder, go to dev meetups and meet your co-founders.

This is how success gurus are bragging they work 12 hours a day. They are not coding or writing or designing for 12 or 16 hours per day. They are mixing work and play by having lunches or coffee meetings or even gym workouts with their business partners. It’s a fun way to work.

Align your downtime with your goals

Instead of watching lame TV shows why not watch some documentary with success stories in your niche. Or watch a documentary on the cutting edge advancements in your niche.

But be careful, there is so much information out there that you can easily watch, listen and read all day without doing anything actionable.

My rule of thumb is to do something actionable from everything I listen to. So while watching a video or listening a podcast I take notes about the actionable stuff I can do from it. When it’s done I must take action before watching another one. It a good idea to set a time limit on the daily consumption because after you know the basics, your brain can come up with the best solution for you. So it makes sense to activate your brain early on instead of clogging it up with information.

No book, blog post or podcast episode was made specifically for your situation. Plus anything that you come up with, you are much more likely to implement because it’s personal and you get a sense of pride and excitement to see it working.

Optimize your night routine

I have noticed in many productivity books the suggestion to write your goals every night before bed. The reason for this is you get your subconscious to work for you while you sleep.

In that sense I decided to go one step further by writing my productivity journal and planning my tasks for tomorrow the night before. Then for 1 minute I think about the most important task for tomorrow and how will I get it done.

Why do these things

Productivity journal: I keep track of my daily productivity, energy and mood. Then I try to figure out why they where they are and what can I do to increase them tomorrow, what should I do more off and what to avoid.

Planning my tasks: I make the decisions and the order of priorities at night. Then next morning I get up and get into execution mode without wasting precious time.

Thinking about the most impactful task: Get my subconscious working on it while I’m sleeping.

LifeHQ is an all-in-one life-management software that contains the productivity journal, task planner, project management, habit tracking and pomodoro cycles. Everything necessary to become a better human while moving towards your goals, killing two flies with one stone

Darko Kolev

Productivity nut, Tech lead, Writer.
Founder of FocusHub, the First Productivity social network.

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