Do you ever feel like you want less, but at the same time you want more?
Everyone wants less distractions, less stress, less demands... simplicity! I mean, who doesn't, yet we busy ourselves when we have free time or fill up our calendars so that we don't have any white space available.
In the New Your Times bestselling author, Gary Keller, identifies that behind every successful person is their ONE Thing. However you measure success, personal or professional, the ability to dismiss distractions and concentrate on your ONE Thing is what stands between you and your goals. The ONE Thing is about getting extraordinary results in every situation because you become one-track-minded. You get rid of distractions so that you are focused on your goal which should be inline with your purpose.
The question to ask yourself is:
What’s the ONE thing I can do so that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?
In short, focus on the most important thing first, and then see it through until it’s done.
I've actually put this into practice and seen some pretty good results! I've launched a podcast (have a listen here), I've completed a freebie for you to Discover Your Passion & Purpose (here), and I've created a FREE 5-Part Wardrobe Planning series (here). All of these were in the course of two months! Now, don't get me wrong, these are no easy feats, but they were made easier because I had one focus at a time, movign me closer to my goal. I kept the distractions to a minimum, and I say minimum because I wasn't perfect at not getting sidetracked. With more practice, I'll get better.
When I say you can get pulled off track easily, let me paint a picture of what that could look like:
We start the day in a positive way, write down our goals and situate our to-do lists, before you know, something happens! A few emails need attention, then a phone call, then facebook notifications, then you get dragged into a meeting, all of a sudden it’s time for lunch. Where did the first half of the day go? See how easily we can get distracted by life?
There are so many things fighting for our attention, our energy and our time. It’s our job to decipher what to say 'NO' to. Whenever we get pulled away from our ONE thing, it pulls us into the zone of being unproductive.
'Going small’ is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do. We have to recognize that not all things matter equally and find the things that matter most. It’s a tighter way to connect what you do with what you want. It’s realizing that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.
Getting clear on what your ONE thing is, is a crucial step. Knowing that, and prioritizing that will dramatically shift the results you’re getting in life right now. Be prepared to say 'No", you'll have to say 'No' to some social obligations, phone calls, meeting requests, project opportunities, and not everyone is going to understand what you're doing, so there may be some hard feelings. But because humans are very good at adapting, and wanting to please other people, you have to be ready.
You know your balance and what is distracting you away from your goal and what lends to helping you pursue your goal. Be truthful with yourself. When your ONE Thing is completed, ask yourself: Now that that’s done, what is my next one thing?
Mutli-tasking is a myth, and I think people are starting to realize that as they sink deeper and deeper into overwhlem. It’s simply impossible to focus on multiple tasks, and to give each one of them our full attention, best effort, and that they're done well. Too many tabs open will lead to our brain shutting down and freezing.
Clearing the path to success allows you to, more consistently, get to your goal.
The ONE thing can be applied to any area of your life: your work, your relationships, your parenting, your health... any area you choose. So I would encourage you to write down your ONE thing in each of the areas you'd like to try. Here's how:
For each area, ask yourself: What’s the ONE thing I can do so that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?
Then you need to time-block, schedule, and prioritize that ONE thing, pushing aside all else for that time-block.
Obviously this is a work in progress, and you won't be perfect at this strategy over night, but start with the practice of asking yourself this question multiple times throughout the day. It will give you motivation to complete a task. Working out your ONE thing will keep you focused, on track, and most of all, clear of distractions that steal you away from what’s really important to you.