Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The Power of Less - Chapter 1 - "Why Less is Powerful"
Have you ever known someone who was very effective at something, was very productive, and yet continued to fill their lives so full of things to do that they were still effective as they could have been? And maybe sometimes even not effective at all?
Or do you know someone with the mindset that if they do enough things, then maybe they will eventually be successful at one of them?
These mindsets really are not powerful, effective, nor productive. A high volume schedule = short term thinking, whereas focusing on a lower volume will pay off in the long term. Now, there is recognition that comes along with “high volume workers,” but they are never as effective at what they do as they could be because they attempt to do more than they are truly able to accomplish.
If you are like me, your problem is probably not that you WANT to do more, but that you lack the necessary self-control to keep from volunteering for EVERYTHING! :-) This is me… if someone mentions something that needs doing, or an idea that they are looking for someone to take on, likelihood is, I’m their voluntary “Lab Rat.”
The first two principles are introduced now:
Principle 1: By setting limitations, we must choose the essential. So in everything you do, learn to set limitations.”
Principle 2: By choosing the essential, we create great impact with minimal resources. Always choose the essential to maximize your time and energy.
The whole of this material is summed up in these two principles.
How do we accomplish what is most beneficial to our lives—what will make it possible for us to grow and develop as a person—we do it by following these two principles. [the next section is straight from the book - AJC]
How can you determine which tasks have the most impact? There are generally two good ways of doing this.
1. Examine your task list. Take a look at everything on your list and ask yourself the following questions about each one:
Will this have an impact that will last beyond this week or this month?
How will it change my job, my career, my life?
How will this further a long-term goal of mine?
How important is that goal?
From these answers, you can determine which items will have the most impact over the long term. While this sounds like a tedious process, it actually gets very easy with practice, and son you’ll be able to do it in just a few minutes.
2. Start with your goals. If you start by identifying the things you really want to accomplish in the next year, you can plan your tasks so that you are doing things each day to further those goals along. Let’s say you have three long-term goals—each day, choose a task from your list that will move you closer to those goals. This will ensure that you are completing the tasks with the most impact, because they relate directly to a long-term goal.
…you can try a combination of both of the above methods, and in fact, I think that’s necessary. You can do your best to plan for your goals, but even the best of us has tasks outside of those goals that must be completed.
APPLYING LIMITATIONS TO EVERY ASPECT OF LIFE:
If a part of your life is overwhelming you, attempt to apply limitations to that part of your life.
Are you overburdened with emails? - Check email only 2x a day and only respond to 5 emails each time—result: You’ll be forced to be more effective, and only write important emails.
Have too many projects? – Limit yourself to 3.
Have too much stuff? – Limit yourself to 200 items. [note: if you limit the stuff that you own, you reduce the distractions that you have in your life, thereby allowing you to accomplish more with your time!]
We often learn how to better utilize our money and resources for the Lord when we really contemplate if what we spend our money on is actually ESSENTIAL?!
Honestly folks, can anyone say that it is ESSENTIAL to spend $50+ per month on television? And most of all, does this money actually help you accomplish ANY of your goals?
MAYBE, the reality is, that back in the 1800s, they didn't have more time and therefore life moved slower, maybe they just didn't waste a large chunk of their day vegetating in front of an electronic box?!?!? [okay, i'm off my soapbox for now]
Hope you find the principles here beneficial! More tomorrow!!!