Some people stick to what is most important while others don’t.
Why is that and how can you stick to what is most important to you?
One reason why we don’t stick to what is most important to us is that we often equate success with doing more. We take on more responsibilities, increase our workload and say yes to opportunities that come your way.
While doing more can lead to success, it can also lead to serious problems.
If we continuously try to do more, we’ll likely spread ourselves too thin. New responsibilities pile up while we struggle to complete the ones we already have. As our workload increases, problems pile up and we begin to miss deadlines. To compensate we spend less time with our friends and family, neglect our sleep, exercise, or diet until we become overwhelmed and quit.
In his book, The ONE Thing, author Gary Keller describes the antidote as “going small.”
Going small is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do. It’s recognizing that not all things matter equally and finding the things that matter most.
Here’s how you do it:
You realize that not everything matters equally. Even if it would, our time, willpower, and energy wouldn’t be enough to do everything. Thus, the secret to success isn’t doing more – it’s doing what matters most.
Gary Keller describes how you can find what matters most by using the Focusing Question: “What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” The answer you’ll come up with will guide you towards what matters most.
Once you have found what matters most, you narrow your focus. You prioritize what matters and eliminate what doesn’t. You go small.
You can use this as a tool to identify what matters most by eliminating your choices until only one remains. In this way, you can eliminate what doesn’t matter or, at least, minimize its impact on your life. With less to do, you can spend more time on what matters most.
Going small is a very efficient tool for you to stick to what’s important. It helps you to eliminate what isn’t and stay focused on what is. Best of all, it’s easy to use: ask the Focusing Question whenever it may benefit you.
Gary Keller, The One Thing, p. 10. ↩︎