How To Focus On Less To Accomplish More

Before the New Year began, like you, I made some commitments to myself with respect to my personal and business development. Most of my personal development plans connect with my business development because I see the two as symbiotic. For example, I committed to walking every day. This, of course, is great for my whole person AND affects how fit (pun intended) I am to run my business. I have the clarity and stamina to put in a solid work day after my brisk walk.

The Law of the Lid teaches that any business (organization, household, division, etc.) will only grow to the extent that its leader grows. And I surely do not want any lids this year!

Repeat after me, "LIMITLESS!" That’s my word for this year.

Anyway,…my point is that I put an item on my list that I have been rehearsing for years. “Read more.” But for one reason or another, I would not get around to reading much…year after year. Then I became reluctant to set any goals in this area due to my lack of success. It was a negative cycle, for sure.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love to read. I enjoy it tremendously but let’s face it…if you don’t have a commute on a bus or train daily, as a parent, you find it difficult to fit reading in…unless you just don’t sleep. (That’s a conversation for another post.) And I am a traditionalist when it comes to books...I prefer to handle it not listen to it.

This year, I have set a fresh commitment to my literary pursuits. Forgetting what has occurred (or not) in the past, I set myself up for success…I hope. I decided to provide mini book reviews here…once every month. They will be on books that I believe will help you on your growth journey while also holding me accountable. That way I will have read a dozen books (minimum) for the year.

Sounds good?

I am warning you. I am not reading romance or horror novels. So, if that’s your “thing,” skip my post on the last Friday of the month. I will mostly be reviewing the non-fiction items on my book list. Speaking of which, since I tend to have multiple books on my bedside table, I will also provide you with my personal book list, beginning next month.

This month, I have been reading The One Thing by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan. It has been a pure joy! Not just because the short, easy-to-read chapters can fit into my fifteen-minute reading time block easily. Or because at the end of each chapter, they include a bulleted list of the chapter’s Big Ideas. Mainly, due to the deep message nestled in the simplicity of this writing.

In a nutshell, this book encourages the reader to “go small,” to make choices that will reduce the extraneous and lead to an intentional, focused life. They have mathematically proven their theory through what is known as a geometric progression.

(That’s about as heady as the book gets, so non-math lovers, don’t check out on me now.)

Using dominoes to illustrate their point, Keller and Papasan purport that if the right one thing is set in motion daily, like a lead domino, then the rest of one’s priorities will fall into place. And as it goes with a trail of dominoes, it goes with extraordinary success. “Success is built sequentially…one thing at a time.”

“If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one,” is the Russian proverb the authors share to start the reader’s journey. Makes perfect sense, right? In theory. But in practice, most of us have a difficult time fully committing to the “one thing” concept.

I admit. I am still working on it. Every week, I filture the List (capital “L”) down to my one to three priorities. LOL. I am learning to be ok with not getting it all done and not trying to get it all done. That is a very difficult thing for a results-oriented person like me. The truth is there is a lot of research out there confirming the value of singular focus.

I'm a believer. I confess the “one thing” concept is worth a try! It has led me to take a step back and consider what is truly most important and impactful, and which items can be put aside for later consideration. It's an empowering experience.

Unexpected Benefit: I have begun to value myself more. I have known that self-care is important but I was like many of us…I put the family, etc. first…ALWAYS. I took time for myself sporadically, and many times, under duress. The "one thing" philosophy helped me to realize how I was neglecting my most important gift to those I care for…me!

Now I have begun to set time aside for long walks with our dog daily. I’ve been drinking more water. I have also started sleeping in until 5:30 AM. Woo-Hoo!

My “one thing” this year is to pursue my passions and fulfill my purpose without allowing apprehension (read: fear) holding me back. I want to see how far I can go when I distill my focus to what’s most significant. Every. Single. Day.

Hey, read The One Thing and talk back to me. Let me know how it affects your life perspective. What's your "one thing"? Maybe we could begin an online book club…??? 🤔

Until next time…