One thing at a time…how to do more by doing less
Productivity. It’s a word we all aspire to. Streamlined lives, attaining everything we want to with the minimum of stress. We want to shine, to cruise, to glide into the life we want. We say yes to so many things, all those commitments we need to achieve. By saying yes to doing things, we think we’re saying yes to having those things. But we’re not. By saying yes to so many things at once, we spread ourselves so thinly that sometimes it’s amazing we’ve got the time, energy or focus to get through even one of those tasks.
Over time, projects get forgotten, attention gets distracted. But we still say yes to more, to stop ourselves feeling bad for failing to complete the things we said yes to last time.
It happened to me too
I made a quick list of the top projects I’ve got on the go at the moment. And this is not stuff I’m just thinking about. This is stuff I’ve started, am halfway through, and am finding it increasingly harder to find time and energy to channel into.
There are 17 big projects. No wonder I’m getting confused. Whatever happened to minimalism of the mind?
Why do we say yes?
All of my projects excite me in their different ways. All of my projects, I believe, will take me close to the human I aspire to be. And I think that’s the key.
We say yes to things that fuel our idea of our ideal. But when we inevitably give up on some of our projects, because we’ve said yes to so many things, we feel like a failure. We’re not good enough to do these things, so we’re just not good enough. By saying yes more, we hurt ourselves.
The things is, we’re not failures. We are good enough, and then some.
Say yes less, achieve more
Take my 17 projects for an example. There’s only one of me. A scatterbrained, enthusiastic, busy-minded northern girl. Between those 17 projects, there’s only a finite amount of time I can give, a limited supply of energy, a store of creativity. By spreading myself so thinly between my projects, I’m not giving any of them the best of me.
I’m not my best self when I’ve got too much on. And I know my projects each individually deserve the best I can give. And so do I.
We naturally want to do as much as we can. We need to feel we’re progressing. It feels counter-intuitive to slow down, but just giving ourselves time to create that habit before rushing off to the next project can be all that we need.
If we list our most important projects, habits we want to create, things we’ve got on…it can seem overwhelming, It certainly was for me. The way forward is to choose a small number of these, our most important projects. And until they are complete, or the habit is formed… stop saying yes.
Give your best self
By laser-focusing on one project at a time, we achieve more. We can pour all of our inspiration, all of our creativity, our enthusiasm, into our current habit or project, at the level that project deserves. We want things to work out for ourselves, we deserve to know that we are limitless in what we can achieve, if we just give ourselves the chance to.
Say yes…but at a level that allows you to give your project the best of you, the level that it, and that you, deserve.