Keeping in mind that focusing on only those things that are truly essential is what I am urging you to keep in the forefront of your mind…
I’ve found that to really understand and identify those things for yourself requires the ability to shut out the cell phone toting, laptop hugging, I-pad carrying, 500 channel television watching, turned on, tuned in information overloaded world for a little while.
Just a few years ago this type of thing didn’t seem that ludacris. These days people tend to laugh at you when suggest it.
The thought of not having their phone within arm’s reach or shutting off their I-pad for a day can actually cause people to have panic attacks.
However, it seems to me that it’s critical to set aside some time every so often to take a breath, decompress and just think. These decompression sessions can give you a level of clarity and wholeness that you just can’t get while constantly multitasking and scheduling 6 things where 2 should fit in your day.
You need space to think, gain perspective and identify what’s essential. Almost more importantly you need to be able to have the vision to see those things that look or seem essential but in reality fall under the trivial category.
In his seminal work “Essentialism” Author Greg McKeown writes “In order to HAVE focus we need to escape TO focus”
When was the last time you took time out of your busy day to simply sit and think?
The 10 minutes you spent day dreaming about the project you haven’t finished while in line at Starbucks doesn’t count!
I mean really set aside several hours with no interruptions and without having the pressure of another meeting to go to or having to pick the kids up from soccer in an hour.
This is the way you get to design your life. Have you thought about the direction your life is going? Would you like it to go in another direction?
Have you even realized that it’s possible to design the exact life you want? Yes it’s true. It may not be easy and it may not happen tomorrow morning but it’s definitely doable.
Do you know what the first step in the process is?
Having a plan. To have a plan you need to have a clear picture of what you want (What is essential) and be able to design steps to get there.
The only way to do that with any effectiveness is to spend time on a regular basis looking at where you’ve been, being very clear about where you are and designing a well thought out strategy to get where you want to go.
It’s pretty near impossible to accomplish these things while in on an overwhelmed, multitasking dead run.
Let me be perfectly clear. I’m not talking about a vacation. I’m not talking about meditating. What I’m suggesting is specifically set aside, distraction free time to do nothing other than think!
Our world is speeding up. The amount of background noise we have to put up with is increasing. It’s getting easier and easier to access information and have others get access to us. There’s no turning back it’s the way the world works now.
What we can do is design into our lives quiet, reflection time and spaces so that we can truly identify those things that are essential. As well as take a deep breath, recharge emotionally and get ready to jump back into the fray.
This is my challenge to you:
Take a minimum of two hours per week, Way more if you can. (One executive I know cuts two hours a day out of his schedule to simply think about his next moves)
Use the time to really think about what is important to you and decide what is trivial and needs to be removed.
Try this for a week or two and leave a comment below with your results.
Good luck and good simplifying!