How much time do you spend working on hard problems?

Here's a game changer to productivity: For one week, track the time you're working on hard problems. Simply download a time tracker app like Atracker and add one item: "hard". Be honest with yourself.

When I did this, I found that in a 60 hour work week, I only spent 7 hours working on hard problems.

If you're feeling overwhelmed or stuck although you're already putting in the hours, chances are you're avoiding the hard part.

What is the hard part?

The hard part is the difficult work that, if it went well, would transform the impact of your project, your relationship, your life. It is that which which produces the most Resistance. The opposite of a shortcut.

It is generous, creative work defined as "expanding emotional energy for the benefit of someone else". It involves the risk of this might not work.

For me it's to work on the business, not in the business: hiring, helping people succeed, figuring out the best way forward. It's to share what I learn in a generous way although I feel like I don't know enough to share anything. It's reaching out to ask for help.

If you don't know what the hard part is for you, acknowledge that. Don't shrug it off. Take your time to figure it out by looking for symptoms of Resistance in your life. What are you afraid of? Where do you give yourself an easy pass?

Start now, by measuring the time you spend working on hard problems for just one week.

August 2021