FOCUS - DO LESS GET MORE
Greetings from Reykjavik! What a cool place!
We often hear about or strive for 'balance' in our lives. The idea of balance has always kind of stressed me out because I picture myself as a juggler trying to focus equally on multiple machetes in the air coming down on me and me panicking to keep it together and keep it all going while not dying a bloody death.
Balance has always felt unattainable, and thus the pursuit a little discouraging. Lately I've been more interested in the concept of focus...
Just finished a great little book called Do Less, Get More by Shaa Wasmund, and one of the key take aways was the concept of One Thing. Like the ancient Chinese proverb says...
'A man who chases 2 rabbits, catches neither.'
That principle helps me when I'm staring at my daily To Do list - it starts with 20 items in the morning and ends with 25 in the evening. What is the One Thing on that list that if I achieve, the day will be a success, regardless of whether or not the other things get done? That is focus and it is far more attainable than the alternative, where if you only accomplish 18/20 things you have not succeeded.
What is your One Thing today?
What is the critical thing to accomplish this morning? This afternoon? This evening?
So now I try to have my To Do list look more like:
- start Project X
- touch-ups and collect final balance Project Y
- take Heidi swimming
On your job board, what is the One Job, or One Customer that is critical to attend to?
The smaller your business the more difficult to maintain multiple focuses, and the more important to focus on the One Thing that is critical to your success.
Another take on this concept I just got from my uncle is to write items on your To Do list in various font sizes relative to their importance - giving visual weight to the more important tasks.
One warning with regards to To Do lists...they tend to get filled with urgent tasks, while the important tasks can usually get deferred to another time. Managing your To Do list requires allocating some time for tasks that are important but not urgent. Important tasks are ones that move you closer to your goals and that can best be done by you. Urgent tasks are usually placed on you by others and are easier to delegate.
Focus means that you accomplish what is critical, and sacrifice the less important and trivial. It is a powerful tool to help us reach our goals.
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