First Things First

energy focus priorities success what matters Jul 28, 2021

It's super important to grow your awareness of your energy.

  • How much you have
  • What is worth spending it on
  • What uses it
  • What restores it

If you've followed along with me, you may know that I keep reef aquariums again. It was a hobby of mine years ago and I started back up again last year after moving into our "forever home."

None of that is terribly important but this is... I LOVE taking care of my aquariums. I've described it as my personal bonsai tree. It is my discipline and at the same time my stress reliever.

As I went downstairs to feed my coral and fish today with fresh energy, I realized one thing - my putzing around with things wears me out. I need to do the habitual, healthy priority tasks before the fun stuff. Otherwise, things go haywire.

There are critical requirements to keeping a healthy tank -

  • regular feeding
  • water changes
  • monitoring certain chemistry levels.

These are absolutely required for success.

Then there's the fun stuff -

  • watching the tank
  • moving pieces around
  • buying new stuff
  • reading forum posts
  • watching videos, etc.

All important in their own way but not entirely necessary. 

See, if you do everything in the first list, you're practically guaranteed success. The rest can simply be done in your off-time.

But, do everything on the second list compulsively while neglecting the first list, and you'll be another soul crying over dying animals and the never-ending onslaught of problems.

The second list seems important. It's educational and fun. It's the reason people get into the hobby. But too much of it over the critically important tasks gives us the opposite of success and causes pain. They actually steal energy and motivation from the critical list.

I've identified that if I want the motivation and energy to do the water changes, I need to be sure I do them before I spend time and energy on the fun stuff.

In other words, "first things first!"

A "first things first" attitude is how we develop successful momentum. 

Do not wear yourself out with distractions, even fun ones. Use the times when you have energy to take care of the really important stuff - your priorities. Then, you can enjoy the rewards.

As you write your priorities for tomorrow in Define My Day, ask yourself if they are the critically important tasks that absolutely need to get done to be successful in whatever you want to do.

If not, what should come first?