“I don’t have time”.
This is one of the most commonly used (and misused) expressions of all time. As a matter of fact; apart from “I love you”, it is the most abused expression I’ve heard.
There are several things wrong with that mentality. First, it presents time as though it were some luxury item that only a few can afford.
Second, it makes time appear like the enemy – a commodity that we need so much; yet is so rare that we can never get enough of it.
But worse, it creates a window of excuse for those that delight in using it.
How many times have you heard such a conversation:
“Hi Tom, I waited for your call; why didn’t you call as agreed?”
“Oh, sorry Bob, I had a lot on my plate and was so occupied; I lost track of time and I forgot.”
You forgot because it was not that important to you; not because you were busy or didn’t have time.
When was the last time you forgot to attend an important job interview? I thought so too.
You see, we don’t forget the things that really matter to us.
For example: It’s my job and passion to teach and help people through my writings. I couldn’t have forgotten to write this blog post – because it’s that important to me.
Most times, we forget things that we consider as “secondary” – things that are “nice to do” but not “vital”.
Unfortunately, we’re so connected to technology and information that we fill our to-do lists with “nice” things that have no real worth or value to us.
And then we get frustrated when we’re unable to finish everything we had planned to do for the day or week.
And the frustration leads to stress. And the stress leads to low energy; which leads to an inability to do the real things we need (or love) to do for our fulfillment.
And this means that we’re never truly happy, content, or fulfilled.
Now, what if we could change that with only one change?
What if we didn’t have to read every new Facebook post? What if we didn’t have to buy books we don’t read?
What if we could unsubscribe from some newsletters or email lists that clutter our inbox with more “to dos”?
What if we didn’t try to learn a new skill but rather focus on improving the ones we currently have?
What if… what if we did less?
The problem is that the world today presents “being busy” as something desirable.
People take pride in saying things like “I receive so many emails in a day and I don’t have the time to respond to all of them; but go ahead and send anyway.”
If they’re still going to ask us to send the emails, why do they have to first tell us that they’re so busy?
Simply because such statements make someone appear bigger than they really are.
And when ordinary humans like us who receive “only” 300 emails a day read that, we feel like we have to do more to measure up and become like the online “experts”.
And so, we look for more and more things to add to our already-packed to-do list; only to become more overwhelmed.
A Better Way – The One Change That Changes Everything Else
I had the following items on my to-do list for at least 4 consecutive years:
- Learn French language
- Learn Spanish Language
- Learn piano
- Learn programming
- Exercise daily
- Start a blog
- Write a book
- Create an app
Each new year, I’d start off very inspired; ready to take on the whole world and achieve all the things I had on my list – while working a full-time job and taking care of 2 kids.
Not only would I get tired with burn out and stop in less than 2 months, I discovered that the same items were always on my to-do list every new year.
I was so overwhelmed with everything I had to do, that I ended up doing nothing.
One day, after lots and lots of “failure”, I decided to take it one at a time.
I closed my eyes to everything else I wanted to do and started learning programming. I started with only one hour a day until I was able to add more time.
When I felt a bit comfortable with my coding skills, I went back to my list and picked up the French language.
Today, I am not only conversational in the French language but fluent in it. I speak with natives and we communicate perfectly well.
After that, I took up that app I’d been wanting to create. I worked at it with all my energy, focus, and drive – without trying to do much else along the way. I successfully finished building the app in 2 months, including testing.
Well, I know that Ninja developers could probably pull it off in a couple of weeks; but what does that matter to me?
The amazing thing is that I finally did it – by myself.
And on and on, I was able to strike out several items from my list.
These are the exact same things I’d been trying to do for years without success – simply because I was trying to do EVERYTHING at the same time.
And believe me, I’m not the only person who has faced (or is facing) this problem. You probably are. And so today I want to help you.
Make this one simple change that I made – and you’ll get equally amazing results.
Forget everything else; focus on 1 thing only.
I’m asking you to take a look at your list. Of course, yours is going to be different than mine; but be sure to include only the most important things for now. Start with the vital points, not the “nice-to-haves”.
Follow these 7 simple steps:
- Take a look at your list.
- Write out the top 3-5 most important items you’d love to achieve within the next 12 months.
- Arrange them in order of value, priority, and importance.
- Start working on ONE (1) item.
- Resist the temptation to tackle 2 items at the same time. If you fall for that urge, you’ll not only not stop at 2 but will try to do 3, 4, 5, etc…and you’re back where you started. So, start with just one item alone.
- Give it all your focus, energy, drive, and passion. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll achieve in 3 months.
- Pick the next item and keep moving that way. And you’ll discover that by doing less at a time, you actually achieve more.
By the way, did I mention that I now exercise 3 days a week?
Do you want to achieve more today? If so, do less.
By doing less at a time, you actually achieve more.
By focusing your efforts on only one activity at a time, you’re able to give it your absolute best.
I didn’t suddenly become smarter. I didn’t learn any new time-management “tricks”.
I simply made the change from trying to do everything at the same time, to taking things only one at a time.
This sounds almost simplistic – and that’s exactly why it’s so difficult for us to follow through and do it.
We have the tendency to want to do many things at the same time.
We feel that by doing only one thing, we’re “wasting time”. Or not maximizing our abilities.
And therefore, we fall to the trap of multitasking – spreading ourselves too thin without realizing it.
But to put it simply, just know that you’re killing yourself slowly by your inability to focus on one activity at a time.
And so, I invite you today –make this one change right now and see how your entire life changes.
Focus on one task at a time.
Stop spreading yourself too thin – do less.
And by so doing, you’ll discover that you’ll achieve more.
You can thank me later…
About the Author
Captain specializes in providing business strategy & technical support for online coaches and other small business owners. He teaches simple but effective methods of marketing, pricing, and advertisements to help them get more clients. Check out his website here: https://www.jacehr.com/