I’m a big fan of Greg McKeown’s book, Essentialism - the pursuit of less but better - I’ve read the book three times, took lots of notes and keep trying (and failing) to follow Greg’s advice… and today unexpectedly I had a tough day that taught me a lesson or two on essentialism.
A personal situation changed my day completely…
When I was doing my weekly review last Friday I had a very solid plan for this week, including a strong to-do list for today - for Monday. After all, it’s the last week before Christmas and there’s so much to be done!
And then something happened on Sunday. A family situation required my attention… and I had to deal with it also today…
When my back was against the wall… I knew exactly what to do.
So today I knew I had to tend to my family and in between I had only maybe 3 hours of work max… so I quickly looked at my to-do list and refocused everything.
I knew what was essential. I knew what I should do today… and what can be left for later.
And that’s what I did.
And I had a great day. I managed to move important things forward at the company in the limited time I had… and later could completely focus on the family matter at hand.
There must be a lesson right here…
A lesson in constraints… in evaluating what’s important…
When facing this important situation I somehow knew what to do…. so why when I’m not in a predicament like this, I’m trying to do everything possible and more?
My life is important. There’s only one life I have. Maybe I should be more mindful about creating this sense of urgency and importance all of the time… not only when I’m being forced to do it by external situations?
Maybe I just need to be better at editing my life… and when I have a plan, practice trimming it down by answering this simple question:
“Great plan for next week, but what would I do, if I only had half that time next week? What would I focus on? What would be essential to move forward?”