Cafe Witness

Saturday, March 03, 2007


I realized yesterday that I have too much on my plate.

I can't focus. Things fall by the wayside.

I need to simplify.

Do Better by Doing less

You'll never be able to do everything that comes your way equally well. If you want to be a jack-of-all-trades, that's perfectly reasonable, as is being a specialist. But regardless of how much you WANT to do with your time, the bigger question is:

How much time do you need to feel you've done your best at the things you do?

The key to living well isn't to do everything simply because it's there. It's about doing a few small, manageable things extremely well. Once that becomes comfortable, changes can be made. New projects can be added. New challenges can be engaged. Eventually, you can become a jack-of-all-trades who does well at numerous things, or a specialist who excels in his or her field.

But you won't do it all at once, right off the bat.

You need to prioritize.

Understanding the Order of Things

How much work do you NEED to do in order to earn enough money to love comfortably?

How much work do you WANT to do in order to have a creative outlet, or build a new business / project?

How much time does that leave for personal enrichment, socializing, travel and relaxation?

If the answer is "none," then something needs to go.

If the answer is, "how could I find time for a creative outlet with all this WORK?" then something needs to go.

If the answer is, "how am I going to pay my bills?" then something needs to go.

Trim the Fat

Cut out ONE thing that's getting in the way.

What's consuming too much time in your life compared to the reward it provides? What actions are you taking merely out of obligation, or tradition, or because "no one else will do it as well as me"?

Stop. Scale back. Turn it off. Delegate.

There are 24 hours in a day. Make the most of yours. That includes doing less than you're currently doing, in order to do better at the things you DO do.

For me, that means agreeing to less favors that don't make me money.

By and large, I tend to consent to every request made of me because a) I don't like letting people down, b) I don't like thinking there are things I CAN'T do, and c) I feel obliged to sample every reasonable experience that comes my way.

Given the amount of work on my plate, and the day-to-day needs of my lifestyle, I can no longer spend as much time being altruistic as I'd like. I need to buckle down and get the important things done. I need to build on small successes, rather than widespread attempts that fall short.

I need to prioritize.

What's one thing that YOU can do less of -- or cut out completely -- that will free up your time, your money, your creative resources?

How can YOU simplify?

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