For a while now I have been spreading myself too thin. I have been trying to write a blog, keep my Twitter feed full of witty links, keep up with connections on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, learn new skills, work a forty plus hour a week job, and give my family the time they should have. That’s not to mention all of the little things that I don’t feel like writing down.

I am not complaining. Having things to do is a big part of life. But I have come to a realization that not everything on that list is of the same importance.

One of the lessons I learned from reading The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin, is to achieve the life I want, I must focus my energies on the most important areas and fly higher than I have in the past. What is important? My family, my faith, learning new things, work that provides joy and freedom.

It is not a big list nor a particularly long list but it is my list. To achieve the goals I have in those areas means I have to not do other things. It is the old economic problem of the fish and coconut. I’ve decided to build the net to catch more fish.

Here is what this looks like in real life at 20,000 ft:

Get up early work on the dream, produce art and ship.

Use lunch to further the dream.

Family time is family time, there is no need to try to multitask.

Focus on the family. There is plenty of time at night to read instead of watching television.

Make time to practice my faith.

The ground level view of working the dream looks something like this:

Focus on the areas of work that make the most difference. For most people that means less time on Facebook and Twitter and more time working on projects. It means you have to launch. I like to write and work with graphics. That is where my focus is going right now. Perhaps you want to launch a community project in your neighborhood. Do it.

We have a limited number of resources, so we must use them wisely. Why not use them to advance your dream? Why not use them to make art? Why not use them to connect?

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