Spinning Plates and Success
by Mike Levin SEO & Datamaster, 03/31/2006
Know WHAT PLATES need to be spun each day. This in itself is an exercise in big-picture holistic thinking, and will be the reason for your long-term success. Forget nothing. Let “urgent but not important” tasks die. Work on more fronts than most people would think humanly possible (which you do), but without driving yourself nuts (which you don’t).
Have only one location for clearinghouse information on each topic you deal with. Give that one location a strong identity, and keep driving everyone and yourself back into that source. It might be Public Folders. It might be a discussion thread on a message board. It’s got to be centralized, and look the same to everyone who uses it. Therefore, the one thing it CANNOT be is emails or Word files—fractionalized islands of information and organization/versioning nightmares.
Verbalize your thoughts in loosely structured rambling posts such as this. When you speak, your voice emanates authority only after you discussed a topic several times. This counts as one. So, specifically list and discuss each topic on which you need to project or become an authority.
There is too much ground to cover to learn and do everything. So choose your targets carefully, and become an expert quickly through a generic process of achieving expertise. So of the wonderful menu of things to explore in life, choose a few and know how to get good at them quickly. With programming, an example is that there are so many interesting languages I’d like to learn: PHP, PERL, Python, Ruby, Java, C#. Each has its own merits, and each some killer app making knowing the language worth it. So for your own edification, choose the language that becomes your best generic tool, but be ready to delve into any other language and become an expert enough in it quickly to use the killer app for what it’s worth. It’s a much better approach than constantly building it myself from scratch in my preferred language. A great example would be Trac, the free project management software. I want to use it, but otherwise have little interest in Python, given that I want my object oriented scripting environment to be Ruby.