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Monday, June 22

The Importance of Focus and Clarity

My life could be summed up as someone who is a Jack-of-All-Trades but Master-of-None.  That's worked really well as far as being flexible, multi-tasking and exploring what interests me.  Unfortunately, it also leaves me feeling pulled in too many directions.

When we try to take on too many responsibilities, mediocrity is usually the result.  

Here's a great example:  two weeks ago I had to complete 41 mystery shops in two days, then travel to Birmingham to lay vinyl plank flooring in my empty property, then to Nashville for a hospitality job.  We left Nashville, arriving home with 25 hours to spare before our flight to Las Vegas for another hospitality job.  I managed to do it all, and am proud of the accomplishment.  But there were costs:  because I did not effectively plan my mystery shopping, I had to purchase 4 gas containers (in addition to the many I already own) to hold all the gas.  That was an $80 expense, which I could have avoided if I spread out those jobs when I scheduled them.  Then while we were doing the flooring at the rental property, I didn't spend enough time preparing the subfloor.  A couple of places did not take the flooring properly, and I know it's going to come up and have to be reapplied.  Once we made it to Nashville, I was so exhausted from all this that, while I did give 100% to the work, I was too tired at night to enjoy our time there.  I never recovered, and in Las Vegas we did nothing but work and sleep all but the last day we were there.

I slept late this morning because there were severe thunderstorms in the area.  Otherwise I would be out doing my gas station route right now.  The extra sleep was the boost I needed, as I am sitting here questioning the utility of doing too much.

Fortunately, the month of July is a slow one in the hospitality and mystery shopping industry.  It's going to give me time to remodel our kitchen, declutter this house, and work on my finances.  A few months ago I started saying "no" to most of the low-paying shops I used to accept when there wasn't much work available.  I realize now that tying myself up for a $10 shop means I am interrupting what could otherwise be more productive time spent on what really matters.

So, my goal for July is to focus.  I have a solid three weeks with very few commitments.  It's enough time to move the needle on this kitchen project.


  1. That does sound exhausting. At least you had a nice win in Vegas in the little time you did have.

    1. True. Didn't have time to lose it back! Wishing every Vegas trip was as profitable. Won most of it at the Southpoint. Ever played there? This was my second time there and I really like the casino.