Time is Limited – A Breaking Bad Influence
Breaking Bad aired on AMC network for five glorious seasons. Besides being a fantastic show, Breaking Bad even made strides towards productivity and how to improve ours. Bringing up ideas like the questioning of shared beliefs, dealing with two terrible choices, and countless others. For me, one scene specifically grabbed my attention, and it’s from the episode, Full Measure. In this episode, we find Mike telling a story about why it is crucial to commit entirely or not at all.
Somewhat Useless Anecdote: This show is fantastic and has five well-made seasons. I would recommend giving it a chance but expect some adult content.
Mike’s Full Measure
The story follows a domestic violence case led down the wrong path. Throughout the case, Mike has an opportunity to put an end (this show is violent, so end means the ‘real deal’ end) to the husband’s abusive antics. But instead of fully committing to what would surely keep the girl safe, he decides to give the guy another chance – big mistake. The following week the girl is found dead in her home with the husband to blame. Why tell this story?
Time is Limited
Spending far too much time distracted or, even worse, focused on the wrong thing can throw you off track from completing all of your goals. Due to our inability to tackle so many things simultaneously, we can set ourselves for failure. We’re all human and without practice, finishing five tasks at once is just not feasible.
How Does a Full Measure solve this?
As I mentioned in over-optimization, productivity is a finicky pursuit. People spend all of their time trying to maximize it and quickly find out how difficult that may be. Without intent, you stand no match against the path that you set forth to achieve your goals. Breaking Bad demonstrates (in a theatrical kind of way) that productivity happens from planned intent.
Don’t Be Fooled, Time is Limited
Now adding the concept of full commitment to our lives can seem disconnected, or even far too intense to accomplish. Why does locking down and laser focusing on one thing seem to be so helpful? For starters, our time is limited, and our productivity is in danger when we never fully commit. Our precious and most valuable resource, time, is at stake when we take on new project after project after project… We fall down a rabbit hole of responsibilities and quickly become overwhelmed with the tasks that we put on ourselves. Our susceptibility to these productivity traps stems from the idea that more is better. That isn’t always true, especially when you’re looking at a To-Do list.
Start with One…
Let’s say you decide to try the full measure approach, how do you go about that? If you choose to cut back on fifteen yearly goals to say one, what might you find? Imagine it like this, instead of a field of responsibilities; you get to look forward and see one target ahead. Most likely, you’ll have newfound strides in that goal you do end up choosing, and that’s because of your isolated dedication.
That’s Productivity Potential!
Instead of burning your efforts doing the following: organizing the house, improving your business profits, learning that second language, etc.; you give yourself the time to develop and improve one area first. And, when all of that focus directs towards the in and out of that project, you’ll finally get to see the results you’ve wanted.
The Full Measure Plan
How do we make this happen or what actions need to be done to make progress? Since limiting your intent down to one idea is nice in practice, but difficult when you have to compare options. Start by first listing out what you want to happen. T
- Lose ten pounds
- Make a new Spotify playlist for the whole family
- Re-organize the Storage Room and Garage
- Read that new book series (five in total)
- Make five new dishes
- Wake-Up at 6:00 A.M. for two weeks straight
- Learn a programming language
- Take on a new hobby
Now that you’ve written down your goals, and find out that you are indeed a very, very diverse individual. Take a moment to review that list, and start to cross off the least valuable. Ask yourself helpful questions such as why do I want this? Is this helpful? Is this vital for my progress? Now, take a deep breath in and remove half of the list; confidently cross out half of what is less important.
Think Productivity. Think Why?
That’s going to be difficult, as these are your goals, but to make any progress, you need to commit first to one. Maybe the programming language doesn’t matter as much as losing the weight? If so, remove it. Was that helpful? Now try and repeat. Look at what you’ve written and
With only one in sight and a dedication to staying focused on that alone; you make all of your efforts more streamlined. That’s the beauty of the Full Measure approach. It takes what otherwise seems like a good system and challenges the idea of spreading yourself thin. Instead, bringing intent and direction to the Task list is a sure-fire way to overcome it.
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The First Blogger at Domincusation.com