Be the type of person whose values, priorities, and actions always agree with one another.
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.
- Do you check social media apps on your phone when you’re sitting in meetings, or when you’re spending time with family and friends?
- Do you eat lunch at your desk, or while you’re on the run?
- Is the TV often on in your home, even when you’re busy doing other things?
- Do you send the occasional text message while driving?
The biggest cost of doing multiple things at once like this (assuming you don’t crash from the texting and driving) is a gradual, long-term decline in your productivity and happiness. When you get in the habit of persistently dividing your attention, you’re partially engaged in every activity, but rarely focused on any one. And this dizzying lack of focus eventually trips you up and brings you down to your knees.
I learned this from firsthand experience. I used to be overwhelmed and burnt out almost every day. I felt like I was spinning in sixth gear 24/7, and yet I was making zero progress in my life (I was actually moving backwards). Things changed for me after I started blogging back in 2006, when I progressively noticed that I could get 2x to 3x more quality writing done when I focused without interruption for a set period of time and before taking a real break, away from my laptop. I’ve since applied this strategy to every relevant area of my life, and I challenge you to do the same…
FOCUS. FOCUS. FOCUS.
On one thing at a time.
Then give yourself a short break, and repeat.
Doing so will change your life!
No seriously, it WILL!
If you hold a magnifying glass over a small pile of dry leaves as the sun shines bright on the hottest afternoon of the whole year, NOTHING will happen…
…so long as you keep moving the magnifying glass quickly from one leaf to the next.
But as soon as you hold the magnifying glass still and FOCUS the sun’s rays on one single leaf, the whole pile of leaves will ignite into flames.
That’s the power of focusing on one thing at a time.
Your opportunity right now is to realize that you are the magnifying glass in your own life, and that you can intentionally focus the energy you get from the world on one single leaf at a time. When you do so, you will ignite incredible “flames” that move your projects, your dreams, your relationships and even the world around you, forward. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Goals and Success” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
Please leave a comment below and let us know:
What’s the ONE THING you are going to focus on next, after you close the window on this post?
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