I am working on the assumption you’re somewhat like me here and can relate to the fact I’m a driven individual. I’m a high-achiever, I’m incredibly results-oriented, and I’m always wanting to do more.
In that drive and desire to do more, I tend to say yes a great deal more than I should, and I tend to take on more projects than I can realistically complete.
As an example, I’ll share my struggle with being a reader. I’m an avid reader. I love reading books. I will find several (3, 5, or 10) books I like, and I’ll load them all on my iPad Kindle, or I’ll put them all on my table right by my recliner in my office where I sit and read.
It ultimately overwhelms me because there is a psychological switch initiated by having everything available, right in front of you, that you could do right now.
What happens with my reading is I wind up starting one book, starting another, and having three or four books going at one time. It’s hard to keep the stories straight or to allow the profound points to impact me, since I’m trying to track with too many things at one time.
I do the same thing with my projects and my tasks. I’ve got eight or 10 big, but different things going at one time. Therefore, I’m never really giving a high percentage of my energy, my capacity, or my time to one thing and really making it count.
I’m always reevaluating the way I do life as it relates to my personal growth, as it relates to my learning, my professional development, as it relates to my business, my projects.
Here’s what I’m discovering: Less is more.
Simplify. Whittle it down. Each 12-week period, each quarter of the year, I’m choosing one or two major projects, and anything else that might be on my master planning list will not come into my peripheral vision for at least 12 weeks. I will keep it to the side.
Now, those other items are still important. I’m not taking them off the list. It’s still going to get done, but I am intentionally bringing into my day planner, into my daily planning, my weekly planning, my monthly planning only those things that are critically important for completing a major objective, a major mission in one particular period of time.
The same thing with my book reading. The same thing with my time with my family. I am simply not taking on as much.
I’ll tell you something else I’ve talked about before: learn to say no.
If you’re like me, you want everyone to be happy with you. You want everyone to be pleased. You want everyone to be impressed. You love people to speak well of you. But despite your best efforts, if they’re going to talk bad about you, they’re going to talk bad about you regardless.
You have to determine what’s really important. What’s going to move your life forward? What’s going to move your money forward? What’s going to move your business forward? What’s going to move that relationship with your spouse forward? Those things, if they’re truly a priority, you will focus on those, and you will say no to anything that might take time away from those important things.
Someone once said that everything you say yes to you’re saying no to something else important. Remember, less is more. I challenge you to look at all the stuff on your plate and determine what needs to go in the trash can, what needs to go in the recycle, what needs to go in the cabinet, what needs to go completely by the wayside, and then what needs to stay on your plate.
Less is more. You will accomplish more, you’ll be more successful, you will be more fulfilled and more satisfied as you focus on the really important things and get those done one at a time.