Today I’m writing content for talks I’m giving in North Carolina and Virginia. Besides this, I have a few hundred projects and tasks in my Nozbe planning system. Sometimes I’m tempted to move from task to task as quickly as possible and never take a minute to stop and think. But this is a dangerous way to work and live.
Most people fill up the white space until there is none left. They believe they can reach their goals by checking off a myriad of tasks. But if you watch the high achievers, you will see that they focus only on the few most essential tasks, and they push everything else out of sight. They actually create white space in their calendar for dreaming and planning, so they can stay focused on what matters most.
I call this working on your life versus working in your life.
Do you have enough white space in your calendar? Or do you just keep taking the work as it’s coming at you with no end in sight?
Chaos comes from being reactive instead of proactive. It’s when you wake each day and hit the ground running, without a crystal clear direction.
You’re wearing all the hats, and you’re making some people happy. But, are you ever going to get it all done? Be honest. Are you a better person because you can accomplish 50 assignments each week, multitasking and driving the wheels off of your life?
Is there a better way? I believer there is!
The 80/20 Principle
According to The 80/20 Principle, all of your real success will come from 20 percent of your work. This means that as much as 80% of your weekly activities are not leading to real success.
Are you working harder than the high achievers and making far less income, with a much lower quality of life? It could be because unlike them, you spend too much time working on those activities that are classified in the non-essential 80%.
Stop Doing Most Of Your Work
To reduce the chaos and start to actually take control of your life, you’ll need to stop doing most of your work.
Start this week! Take time to figure out which activities are absolutely vital to your success. Then, have the courage to focus on just those activities. As far as the non-essential tasks are concerned, either delegate them to someone else or be ok with them not getting done for a while.
It’s hard to imagine how many people need to consider these ideas. I frequently work with coaching clients who are making $250,000 to $750,000 per year, and who are way out of balance, stressed out, and losing their minds. They hire me to help them push back the non-essential 80%, and create lots of white space, so they can plan for a quantum leap. And that’s exactly what happens!
Instead of trying to impress someone for being the hardest worker; push back, take charge, and create some white space! Work smarter and not harder. Achieve more by doing less!
Questions: Which projects and tasks are most essential to your future success? Which projects and tasks are non-essential? What if you created lots of white space for dreaming and planning, and you focused on just those most vital projects and tasks for the next 12 months?