I genuinely believe best in life happens when you master a skill to execute on the biggest problem.
To find the biggest problem is not the hard part, we are all intrinsically good at it. If people struggle with this part usually they don’t have the right tools.
Simple importance and urgency matrix (Eisenhower matrix) solves everything. “Do” section within “Do” section is your biggest. Think about it.
Now, what is hard? Execution on the biggest problem found!
People know what their “urgent and important” problem is but still work on “urgent but not important” and “important but not urgent” buckets much harder and ignore the former.
Why? Many reasons, some include solutions in themselves, some don’t:
- Afraid their lives change for the better and crab mentality of the community kicks in
- It’s a big problem with no clear milestones
- We don’t reflect on biggest problem we’ve solved
- Many more!
In the end, hormonal (dopamine) response is low compared to less impactful problems because of most of these points and we fall back to the “fun” (how we think) stuff.
Fix perception, sharpen the mind using these:
“5 to 1 and go” trick or let’s get your prefrontal cortex back in control.
You have your biggest problem on hand, now mentally count down from 5 to 1 and then GO and do your task.
If you wait more than 5 seconds your brain will start talking you out of your biggest problem.
2. Break it down
Don’t work on your biggest problem for hours. Break it down ideally into 50 minutes work, 10–15 minutes break intervals.
Pomodoro technique can work too.
Every day at the end of the day ask yourself and better write for yourself, have you identified your biggest problem correctly? Did you work hard on it in an ethical manner? If not, be happy because you’ve just found a new data point to improve upon. Write it down and address.
Allocate a time chunk in the future to just clearly work on this problem. Set a reminder. When it rings, use metacognition trick to start on the task.
Yes, chances are you’ll get distracted and that’s okay, put it in your retrospective and see how you avoid distraction next time.
5. Put in on paper
Identify part should put biggest problems on paper and in a calendar. Don’t keep them in mind, it loads the mind and it’s hard to overview the problem(s).
If the problem is big and takes more than 1 hour, break it down into milestones to get that dopamine boost when you achieve parts one by one.
After applying those, you’ll eventually get better at getting a better hormonal response from impactful tasks by creating a positive feedback loop.