Priorities

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Apparently, the word priorities is a relatively new one. It’s a misnomer too – like saying ‘the ones.’

In the old usage of the word priority is always singular. There can be only one priority.

Having ‘priorities’ is as much a myth as being more efficient because you can multi-task.

That doesn’t stop us from having many priorities, conflicting goals, and confusion.

Complexity is easy – simplicity is hard.

Having just one priority – and sticking to it – is very hard.

I liked award winning novelist Haruki Murakami’s approach to this problem:

When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at 4:00 am and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for 10km or swim for 1500m (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at 9:00 pm. I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind. But to hold to such repetition for so long — six months to a year — requires a good amount of mental and physical strength. In that sense, writing a long novel is like survival training. Physical strength is as necessary as artistic sensitivity.

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