Today I want to talk about this idea of dialing in and doing your “one thing.” As you know, I’m a business coach, and I coach people all the time on narrowing their focus so they can achieve their goals.
This idea comes from a book that I’m currently reading, called “The One Thing.” Dialing in and focusing on your goal is so important in today’s day, where we have so many distractions. Distractions like text, email, technology, and just life in general. We are filled with distractions now more than ever.
However, if you are running for a goal or if you have something in mind that you want to achieve, it’s so important to dial down your focus and create the mentality to do your one thing.
Don’t Believe the Lies
Narrowing your concentration down can produce extraordinary results. BUT…if we’re not careful, you and I can begin believing these lies that have been out there. Lies that say it’s ok not to narrow your focus.
Do you ever feel like you’re chasing a shiny object? You’re chasing that next best thing because everyone else is talking about it and you want to too? We start to become like a squirrel! Like we’re chasing unicorns.
I’ve come up with some lies we can believe that will take us away from that one thing. I want you to read through these and remind yourself that they are SO important in order to stay focused.
Everything Matters Equally
What Does Equality Mean?
Everything matters equally. Now, what does the word equality mean here? I am 1000% behind the equality of humanity and social justice. I never want to feel like I’m better than someone else because of their lifestyle, ethnicity, or anything else. I’m not talking about how equality matters in that realm.
When we talk about achievement, that’s where equality is a lie. Our life is defined by choices, and it’s important that we make good ones. However, we can easily become overbooked and overextended. We can be pulled in a thousand directions.
Activity Doesn’t Equal Productivity
Do you ever feel like you’re on a hamster wheel and can’t get off? Or do you feel like you’re a pinball bouncing from one thing to the next? Do you have a to-do list like I do? I used to have a list of 50 things, and every item on that list felt urgent. When everything feels urgent, everything feels equal. But that’s not true!
Some things are not equal, and our activity doesn’t necessarily equal productivity. We can try to do too many things and not be productive. Achievers and people who have goals always work from a clear sense of priorities. Their to-do list is not really long. A to-do list is long though. The book calls it a “survival list.”
Survival List vs. To-Do List
I came back from vacation last week and made a list of 23 things – my survival list – and all of those things started to look equal, but they weren’t. That’s the difference between a to-do list and a success list – the length of the list. A to-do list will have a ton of items that feel urgent and feel equal. But a success list is short. A to-do list pulls you in different directions, but a success list points you in one specific direction.
Here’s what you have to do when you have a to-do list. Keep asking yourself what matters most. Say no, say later, say not now…but do what matters most first. Doing the most important thing is always the most important thing.
On the success spectrum, not everything is equal. Narrow your focus and begin making a success list.
Multitasking Is A Lie
Multitasking works. Who out there has ever adopted the phrase that you’re a multi-tasker, and you wear it like a badge of honor? That’s a lie. Multitasking is a lie. Let me differentiate juggling and multitasking.
If you watch a juggler, typically they have three items they’re throwing at once. As one or two go up, one gets caught. Juggling is when you go from one ball to another, but multitasking is when you’re doing a thousand things at once, and it just doesn’t work. You can’t focus on multiple things at once.
You Cannot Do More Than One Thing Effectively
Did you know that you and I have at least 4,000 thoughts that enter our brain every day? Think about this…how can we concentrate if we’re constantly trying to do more than one thing effectively? We can’t! That’s why we hear about distracted driving.
The lie we must recognize is that multitasking is OK. You simply cannot do more than one thing effectively. As you’re looking at your success list, remember you cannot multitask. You must narrow your focus onto that one thing that you want to achieve.
We Can Lead A Balanced Life
Saying No To Something Else
We can all lead a balanced life. It’s not true – we cannot live a balanced life. It’s a great idea in theory, and it seems practical, but it’s just not. When we take time from one thing to live our life, it’s going to mean there’s time spent away from something else. The balance is no longer balanced.
When you say yes to one thing, what are you doing? You’re saying no to something else. That makes it out of balance. Magic in your business life does not happen in the middle. The magic happens at the extreme, when you focus on your one thing. When your life comes out of balance, that’s where the magic happens.
You Have Permission To Be Counterbalanced
If we can begin to replace the word “balanced” with a “counterbalanced” life, that would be so much better for us to keep our focus on our goal.
Here’s the deal. You never want to get so far to one extreme that it seems like you can’t get back to the other. You can’t focus so much on one thing that your life gets out of balance. It means for a period of time when you’re focusing on your goal, you have permission to let your life be counterbalanced. Don’t lose your focus so long that you can’t come back.
Cut Through the Clutter
As a summary, when you focus and dial in to your one thing you want to achieve, you will cut through the clutter. You will dial down your stress because you won’t feel so overwhelmed. You’ll become less stressed. You will overcome the feelings of overwhelm. You will stay on track. Your energy will be revived, and you’ll see results in less time.
When I look at my list I made after vacation, I began erasing the mundane tasks that were not my one thing. I made a success list instead. I knew I’d get to those other things, but they weren’t part of my one thing. I saw my stress level diminish immediately. I felt like I was de-cluttering my heart and my mind, and I felt back on track. I felt success coming my way!
If you got any value out of this, please share it! Or if you know someone who is struggling with staying on track with their one thing, please send it to them. Pay it forward and help me help them!