From time to time, we all can get a bit out of sync. We’re human and it just happens. Typically, when that happens to me, there’s one principle that I’ve somehow neglected. Once I start back implementing it, everything else seems to fall back into place as well.
I hope this finds you well and happy! I have been hella stressed lately and it’s all my fault. I wish no sympathy from you. And if you’re stressed, you shouldn’t seek for sympathy either because it’s all your fault just like it’s all my fault.
I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself in my current job to do well. It’s not only my future on the line here but a friend’s too. It’s high stress but it’s high reward too. And, let me tell ya, the rewards have been nice.
I go back and forth each day as to whether the money I’m making is enough to make up for the added stress in my life. I think the majority of the time the answer is no but great sales days have me singing a different tune.
However, it’s not just the job that brings stress. I have my own personal ‘business’ (for lack of a better term, which is the best use of that phrase I’ve ever had!) to manage. While I have been pumping out some half way decent content lately, much more than previous months, it doesn’t feel like I’m doing enough or that I’m using my down time wisely.
As an incredibly motivated individual, this is always a constant struggle.
I think one thing that’s bringing on more stress is a principle that I’ve gotten away from. This principle has served as my ‘lead domino’ in the past making things either much easier to complete or not relevant at all. I’m confident that it can do so now and in the future.
That principle: Just One Thing.
This principle alone has helped me become more productive and drastically improved my abilities to manage my expectations. I think managing our expectations is a huge topic that’s not discussed enough! I talk more about managing expectations in this podcast.
Since entering adulthood, I’ve always had a big appetite. Food, for sure, but more importantly for success. I’m clearly making up for my lack of appetite (for food) as a kid now as an adult..? (another, for lack of a better term, phrase usage)
Now, success can be a very tricky term and I don’t want to dive into that too much here. I think the nuances or nitty-gritty details must be discovered by the individual. However, principles can help narrow down those details and give you boundaries to operate within. In this article, I discuss a few principles I use to help me pinpoint success for myself.
Generally speaking, I think success is something that we should define for ourselves. My definition, of success, is going after things, on my terms and finding a way to enjoy the process. That’s more of a success principle, like I mentioned above, rather than an objective to pursue.
My ambitions, however, have always been a double edge sword. With such a large appetite, it’s easy to bite off more than you can chew. I’ve certainly done that more times than I would have liked to, that’s for sure.
“Stay hungry and keep a full plate.”
– Nick LaToof
There’s definitely some truth to that. But, there’s also a fine line. Bite off too much and you choke. Don’t bite off quite enough and lose your mind thinking that you’re not productive enough (ravenously hungry).
The only way I’ve found to win this balancing game is to take it one bite at a time.
#1 — Priorities
Priorities are a must and timely. Ask yourself, what’s the most important thing I could do right this moment? What is the lead domino that I can knock over and make everything else either easier or not important?
Things important today might not be important next week or relevant at all. This is when and where priorities become timely.
If everything is important, then nothing is important. This is where prioritizing your priorities comes into play. You can’t do everything right now. You can only do 1 thing in this moment.
Prioritizing Your Priorities means doing the most important thing right now, in this moment. If something is on your priority list but you can’t complete it right now, then you need to save this one for later and do what you can right now. OR find a way to do it.
This is no easy task. It takes some deliberate thinking for sure. But, don’t over think it or allow it to prevent you from action, which could very easily happen due to overwhelm. This type of overwhelm has prevented many people from accomplishing things both in the short term and long term.
When in doubt, just do something! I’ve spent many unproductive days because I wasn’t sure what to do first. I didn’t get shit done on those days and it’s incredibly unproductive. If I could’ve just singled out one thing and completed it, the day would’ve been a success. And that brings this article full circle!
2 — Mindset
If all you require of yourself is to accomplish one task per day and you complete that task, you will feel very productive. And, the chances are good that you’ll utilize that positive momentum and accomplish one or two more. In doing so, you’ve then exceeded your expectations and have made the day very productive.
Now, say that you had 10 items on the ‘to do list’ and you only accomplish 3 of them, you’ll view that day as a failure. After all, only baseball players are happy about 30%. It’s about shifting focus and mindset in your favor. You start doing that and you’re going to start winning a lot more days!
This “Just 1 Thing” acts a like a lead domino in many regards. It makes ‘to do lists’ easy to make or even obsolete. It requires you think about the macro (long term) first and reverse engineer the small details (micro) that will put you on the proper path and ultimately lead to your success.
You know, I wish I had a list of 10 to give you and title this article “The Top Ten Things You Should Be Doing To Be Successful” but I hate that click-bate bullshit. Truth is, I keep things simple, stupid simple.
Just the other day, I had a guy say that he was surprised on how simple I kept my workouts. This was a great compliment!
“For it is vain to do with more that which can be done with less.”
– Occam’s Razor
If you can’t explain something simply, you probably don’t understand it well enough to be explaining.
There’s no need to beat a dead horse, here. Bottom line, is figure out the most important tasks you can complete, break them down into small parts, and take care of them one at a time.
If you think about getting just 1% better every single day, it’ll add up in the long term and keep you sane in the process.
Be sure to check out the podcast [#39 – “Just One Thing”] for more on this principle.