Burn the Candle at Both Ends

Just burn one end at a time.

  • David Allen. David promotes the idea that it’s really hard to have thoughts about your purpose and your future when you’re wondering how you are going to get ready for the meeting you are going to have one hour from now. I agree.
  • Rick Warren. Rick Warren author of the wildly popular book (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (Purpose Driven Life), makes the point that you were born with a purpose and you won’t be happy until you find out what that purpose is and embrace it.

Are you in a hurry to make your life better? Then you better burn the candle at both ends. What I mean by that is that you better do both. You need to apply GTD to handle the little stuff in your life AND you need to apply Rick Warren’s thoughts to plug in to your purpose. The problem is trying to do both at once is like trying to talk to two people at the same time. It doesn’t work.

Cycle Training is the answer. Cycle training is what many smart athletes do to maximize their effort and get better faster. A runner might spend 6 weeks doing nothing but long, slow runs, then four weeks concentrating on speed, then four weeks concentrating on strength and form, and then four weeks tapering for a race. Why not do the same thing in your life? Why not spend a month really working on implementing GTD. Then the next month focus on aligning your time and energy with your purpose in life. The next month you might focus on GTD or some other aspect of personal development like consistently writing in your journal.

How can this help. The idea is to simplify things by having a single focus for a period of time. Let’s face it: change is hard and stressful. Many people try to change and give up because they try to change too fast. This way you can see progress in an area, hang on to that progress, and then focus on another area.

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