There are currently at least two ideas about living a good life by accomplishing all your goals.

Probably the most common is aiming for a “balanced life.” With this plan, you set out your goals and you work on each one, or most of them, every day. Like the steady drip of water, you wear away all obstacles and achieve all your goals, as long as you stick to them long enough.

Another, maybe newer, idea is to alternate your obsessions—pick one to concentrate on for several weeks or months at a time, then go on to something else. For example, writers might write as much and quickly as we can on a novel to get the first draft done, cutting way down or eliminating marketing, editing other work, and certain things in private life (your pick) to get that draft done. Then we might obsess about editing that book. Then marketing it.

Which is more appealing to you? I suggest you try both, if you haven’t so far. I’ve been doing the balanced life idea for many years now. How’s it working out for me? I’m not so sure. I feel I’ve accomplished a lot, but I’m wondering if I’d been more obsessive about certain projects I might not have done them better and even quicker. And had more enjoyment, as well.

It’s like when you move into a new house. Generally, your focus in on getting everything set up as fast as you can. And then, in six months to a year, it’s pretty much done. But you could stretch it out over several years if you also tried to write a new novel and edit an old one plus do some marketing every day. Or if you decided to start a new business, train for a marathon, and take a college course or two.

My final thought is that the best of all worlds is to combine these ideas. Use a period of obsession to get something that is vitally important to you done. Then take some down time to catch up with the rest of the people and things in your life. During that downtime, have a more varied schedule. But I do need to try out the obsessive idea because I’ve rarely, if ever, done it. Unless we moved into a new house or I decided to only edit a whole novel as fast as I could. Those are the only two things I can think of that I ever did obsessively. The rest of the time I was a drip.

Slow and steady or fast and furious, that is the question. \

Now I’m off to obsess about something or other.