stop adding, start eliminating (1/2)

stop adding, start eliminating (1/2)

“Realize all the things you are doing that are not taking you where you really want to go. It will help you see all the things you are doing that are not helping you create the results you want in your life. Those things will become more and more obvious to you, and once you get to that point, you will most likely have another powerful insight: Until you accomplish your next most significant priority, everything else is a distraction. That brings us to the critical question you have to always be asking yourself: “Is what I’m doing right now the next most significant use of my time?” Is it the thing that is moving you toward creating the best results? Is it the thing that is moving you toward making your greatest contribution? Is it the thing that is moving you toward making the impact you want to make?”

― Rory Vaden, Procrastinate on Purpose

In our fast-paced, convoluted modern world, being “busy” has become the norm. In fact, some of us even consider busyness as a badge of honor. We confuse motion with actual work, and activity with productivity. We start believing that jumping from one task to the next without any breaks and juggling multiple priorities at once communicates to others that we’re productive. But no matter how much effort we put in, we still find ourselves disorganized and behind our schedules. We become like the proverbial hamster on the wheel — we burn ourselves out by running day in and day out and yet end up going nowhere. Isn’t that a miserable way to work and live?

Intellectually, we are all aware of the popular nugget of wisdom, “Less is more.” However, in our quest to become more successful, we often wonder what tasks or activities can we add in our personal and professional lives to unlock bigger and better accomplishments. But the truth is that adding multiple things in your to-do list would neither multiply your time nor maximize your success. Instead of addition, think subtraction. The most effective way to increase your productivity is to eliminate non-essential tasks and activities from your life. As Robin Sharma explains, “I see a lot of people hustling and marketing and working day and night, sort of like chickens running around with no place to go. If you look at the true craft person and I believe the absolute geniuses, they had a monomaniacal focus around doing just a few things. Rather than engaging in the trivial many, I would encourage you to work less and achieve more by dialing down on those few projects that will allow you to own your domain and change the world.” 

Keep in mind that this minimalist approach to better productivity is simple for sure, but not at all easy. As humans, we crave the satisfaction of achieving something — anything actually! And that’s why, we often engage in trivial activities just so that we can feel better that we’ve accomplished something. Have you ever completed a random activity and then simply added it to your to-do list later on to check it off? This is the reason behind that.