I don’t know about you, but my life has never felt so busy or “noisy,” with competing demands constantly vying for my limited time and attention.
So in typical me fashion, I’ve spent time reading more about productivity and change psychology, with a view to helping both myself and my clients.
We’ve talked previously about priorities, focus and pushing back, but quite often we still end up over-prioritising and over-complicating what needs to be done. We’re so used to being busy and trying to tick things off the never-ending to-do list that we often don’t know how to do anything different.
So I was really struck by the simplicity and powerfulness of the question asked by Gary Keller is his number 1 bestseller “The One Thing“…
“What’s the one thing you can do, that will make everything else easier or unnecessary?”
Ponder that for a moment.
Like all good questions it doesn’t necessarily have a quick or easy answer. But it’s well worth exploring. And it can apply to any area of your life.
What’s the one thing you can do this week that will…improve your fitness / health / marriage / relationship with your child(ren)? That will mean you can finish your work meeting early having really accomplished something? And so on.
Think small and don’t be afraid to think extreme!
Keller’s themes around having a crystal clear focus on what matters TO YOU and having a ‘success list’ rather than a ‘to-do list’ really appealed to me. And they fit really well with the concepts of “difficult-easy” and “difficult difficult”.
“Difficult-easy” describes the things that we do regularly, that keep us busy, take a lot of effort, feel hard, are typically familiar, but don’t actually move us forwards. For example, looking after the family’s needs but not your own.
Whereas “difficult-difficult” describes the things that really challenge us. The moments when we step outside of our comfort zone, do something different, potentially make ourselves vulnerable, but where we stand to potentially make massive gains. This could be something really impressive sounding, but quite often it’s something much smaller, but significant – like saying no, asking for help or not feeling like you need to do it all.
So have a ponder today and instead of filling it with familiar things that keep you busy, have a think about that one thing that would make everything else easier, or unnecessary, and hone in on it.