Like most Stapleton parents, I feel like I have a million things to do and not enough time for it all. We all have so many things demanding our attention we can’t help but be distracted. If feels like too many days go by where I haven’t moved the needle on any of the things that matter in my life. I didn’t get that project at work done, didn’t really talk to my wife, didn’t read with the kids, didn’t work out…what did I do all day? It’s not a laziness thing, I work hard. The issue is distraction and too many small things I allow in my life that throw me off course.
So how do we know what to focus on?
I recently had a chance to read “The One Thing”, by Gary Keller and it’s helping me regain some focus so I thought I’d share 3 take aways from the book below . If you want to borrow the book just email me your Stapleton address and I’ll drop it off!
We’re all Over-Booked, Over-Extended and Over-Committed.
You are not alone in feeling overwhelmed. Everyone around you is likely feeling the same way because we’re a very distracted and busy society in general. Smart phones for example. Great tool but if you’re trying to focus it can be your worst enemy. So being able to cut through all the crap you’re wasting time on is going to be a big competitive advantage and it’s likely going to be the difference between you winning and losing long term in various areas of your life. (You decide what “winning” is for you)
“What is the one thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?
So if we’re all over-booked and our endless “to do” lists are overwhelming us how do we figure out what to do?The book explains we use the question above to drill down and we keep asking ourselves this question until we have ONE item on our to do list that is our priority and then we focus massive attention to it at the expense of other items on our list. When I say massive I mean massive, he suggests 4 hours a day solely focused on our ONE THING until it no longer needs to be the main thing. Do you spend 4 hours a day on anything other than sleep without allowing distraction or interruption? (If you said yes I bet you are either lying or you are really successful at what you do!) How much progress could you make on your ONE THING if you put that kind of focus on it?
I know I should focus, so why am I not able to do it?
The book highlights several reasons why we struggle to focus on our ONE THING even if we know it’s the best thing for us to be doing. First, the ONE THING is likely something that is challenging for you and takes your full focus. So it’s easier to tackle the low hanging fruit on your to do list instead, giving you a little “buzz” of accomplishment but that fades as quickly as it arrives. For example, going to the bank to make a deposit rather than focusing on that project at work that is due in 3 days. The second reason we struggle to focus is we’ve been sold on the value of multi-tasking. We think by doing more than one thing at once we’re being efficient but as the book puts it multi-tasking is really just the chance to screw two things up at once. Shut down all your distractions and fully focus on something for even an hour and see how productive you feel then.
So these were just 3 things I took from the book but I thought it was full of good points and motivation so check it out and get focused on what matters to you!