Doing the Right Things

The past week has been crazy. Very crazy. But a good kind of very crazy – because I’ve been able to manage it better than before.

The biggest part of this past week on my calendar was Social Media Camp. I had a great time at the event because I set myself in such a way to focus on it – and my part in it as a speaker – without having distractions in the way. I took a lot of it in, and stepped aside when there was no capacity for me to absorb anything further (which can happen during the span of a multi-day event). I’ve been to three of the four Social Media Camps so far (with the first year and this year being the most involved), and I found this year’s event to be excellent – with an eneregy and enthusiasm on par with events like New Media Expo. I was happy to have been part of it – and even more happy that I was able to truly be part of it.

The closing keynote of the event struck me more than any other .. and that is likely because I’m spending more and more time working on crafting an amazing life. C.C. Chapman (author of Amazing Things Will Happen) took the stage and owned it – as he does his own life – and his talk was a great way to cap off the event. My biggest takeaway from it is that there are far too many times we spend doing things rather than doing the right things. Things like wondering, wandering, connecting, and embracing. You can do any (or all) of these things on your own or with others, but the key is to do them – and do them well.

The only really big thing I did this past week was attend Social Media Camp. I left everything else open on my schedule. Does that make me more productive than others, as this Fast Company article suggests? Possibly. But I think there’s far more to it than saying “no” to things others send my way. I’d say that I’m constantly asking myself if doing that “thing” is either right or wrong, depending on where I’m at. Asking that question of myself helps shape not just my day, but my week, month, and beyond. It helps stave off overwhelm, which is something that really hurts productivity. When you have a system and structure in place, you can ask those questions and can afford to answer accordingly. You can afford to do the right things because they stand out above all else. The wrong things gradually become right … or they just go away.

I was able to spend my time productively this week because I was doing the right things. Simply doing things isn’t productive because doing isn’t always productive.Wondering why you are doing things leads to better productivity when you take action once that moment of wonder has ceased. Connecting with what’s on your task and project list leads to doing the right things instead of just doing. Embracing your work and your life will lead to better work .. and a better life. Doing these things will all lead to amazing things happening.

And that’s because you’ll be doing the right things.

(Note: The picture accompanying this post is a portion of a sketchnote of my talk, as done by the incredibly talented Deborah LeFrank. You can see entire sketchnote by clicking on the image. She really captured the essence of my talk — and handed me a business card with the above image on it the very next day. Talk about a quick turnaround! Follow her on Twitter … she’s tremendously talented and deserves a ton of accolades for her work.)