3 to 5 things
In the Army, we have defined something that we need to know as a priority intelligence requirement, or PIR. These intelligence requirements either help a commander to either A) make a decision or B) deny an enemy course of action. And they help to focus the collection of information and analyzing that into intelligence. But so often, I see lists of 10, 11 and even 15 priority intelligence requirements. If you have that many priorities, then really you have no priorities.
Is this how you manage your life? With everything a priority? You spend energy in-between projects, energy that is wasted in the movement between projects.
I have an acquaintance who has been trying to start an entertainment studio for 15 years, thinking that it will reduce risk and allow him the chance at creating a great film. He has some background in film marketing from the 1980s and 90s, but no experience since. His idea is that if he executive produces 100 projects, certainly a couple of them will be big hits and he will bask in the glorious revenue stream of these hits. Only problem, no investor buys his dream….. Because they don’t believe that he can do one project right. He cannot and will not show the discipline to get one project in the can so he can have a calling card, a reference. Instead, he globe trots around the world trying to sell that marketing experience to get someone to invest in his dream studio.
It may be risky to put all your efforts into 1 thing, but it is riskier still to put your efforts into any more than 5 things.