Sometimes things just need to fall off your plate.
NOTE: This post has been updated with new information and moved to here:
Photo by: Greg Rakozy
What we truly need to do is often what we most feel like avoiding.
If we don’t go after what we want, we will never get it. If we don’t ask the right questions, we will always get the wrong answers. If we don’t take a step forward, we are always going to be standing in the same exact place. Life is a journey comprised of small steps. The key is to take these steps, every single day.
We know this already, right?
But how often are we stuck in a cycle of worry, fear, and other forms of overthinking? How often are we aimlessly distracted? And how often do we procrastinate?
After consistently working on my mindfulness and time management habits, I’ve become reasonably proficient at getting things done with minimal distraction and procrastination.
Today, for example, I wrote a 1000-word email newsletter, proof-read and cleaned up a chapter in a new book Angel and I are co-writing, coached one of our Getting Back to Happy students, responded to comments and emails from dozens of students and readers, worked on business planning and strategizing for a few active side-projects, spent a quality evening with my family, and of course now I’m writing this post.
It might seem like a lot, but it happens one step at a time, with presence and focus.
With that said, however, I’ll be the first to admit that I still struggle with some detrimental habits that sneak up on me and get in the way of my effectiveness. And these are super common habits among my friends, family, acquaintances, and students alike – these are the things we all do that end up wasting our lives, one precious moment at a time. The word “waste” may sound overly dramatic, but it’s really not. After spending the past decade coaching thousands of people, and working through my own personal issues, there’s little doubt that these are the most popular ways we all collectively waste our lives:
Distractions are both more damaging and more tempting than we realize. When we fill our lives with [Read more…]
Anyone can make today more complicated than it has to be, and most people will. It takes a touch of wisdom to do the opposite.
Our days fill up so fast, and are so frenzied and jammed with drama and distractions, they often seem to be bursting at the seams. And the craziest part of it all is that we get so accustomed to this kind of chaos, we think it’s normal. We go about each day without ever questioning why we feel so darn stressed out.
Angel and I lived this way for many years, until a time came when we were dealt a series of harsh reality checks that forced us to reexamine everything. One of the key lessons we learned through this reexamination is that it’s not terribly hard to make our lives a whole lot simpler and happier, one day at a time… one step at a time.
Today, I encourage you to join us on our daily journey of living a simpler, happier life by following the seven steps I’ve outlined below. Keep in mind, however, that while Angel and I have fully incorporated each of these steps into our daily lives, we did so gradually. I suggest you choose one right now and begin working on it. Then revisit this list when you’re ready to take the next step.
Why is it that over 50% of our new course students tell us they feel completely overwhelmed and exhausted in their personal and professional lives?
The answer may surprise you: It’s not the number of minutes they spend awake and working hard each day that’s the issue – it’s that they often spend 99% of those minutes juggling too many things at once.
The biggest cost of doing multiple things at once like this (assuming you don’t crash from the texting and driving) is [Read more…]
Besides the intelligent art of getting the “right things” done, there is the often-forgotten art of leaving the “wrong things” undone.
This past month at our first annual Think Better, Live Better conference, dozens of people asked me how Angel and I “get it all done.”
In one woman’s words that were captured on a video testimonial recorded at the conclusion of the conference:
“Marc and Angel, how do you do it? How are you so enormously productive? How do you host incredible conferences, write hundreds of blog posts every year, coach hundreds of Getting Back to Happy students like myself, personally respond to student and customer emails so promptly, and still have time left to spend with family and each other? I haven’t a clue how you make it all happen, but I’m so grateful you do…”
From the outside looking in, I can see how certain people might perceive us as being “enormously productive” – perhaps possessing some kind of magical potion that allows us to accomplish more than what seems humanly possible.
The truth, however, is that there is no potion, just a set of consistent, intentional choices to abolish the negative habits, beliefs and behaviors that would otherwise fill our lives with needless stress and our calendars with lots of waste.
And we didn’t invent the wheel here either – all of our closest mentors and peers walk a similar journey of maximizing productive output by minimizing mental and physical time-wasters. I encourage you to join us…
Stephen King once said, “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
An obvious bias toward [Read more…]