In this webinar, we talk about the power of doing one task, one project, one goal … and how this is one of the keys to simplifying our lives.
I’ve broken this webinar recording into two parts:
- Part I – My Talk: I share how to bring the power of One Thing to your life. (See notes)
- Part II – Questions & Answers: I answered questions about one goal in different areas of your life, choosing Most Important Tasks, and more.
Part I: Leo’s Talk (with notes)
Here are the notes from my talk (video is below the notes):
We all know that we’d like to single-task, but we very rarely give ourselves that power.
As we look at simplifying our lives, one of the biggest things we can do to simplify is to reduce how many things we are doing at once.
- How many goals are we trying to focus on?
- How many projects do we have on our plates?
- How many tasks are we trying to do right now?
Many of us have overfull plates because we try to do too much, and try to do it all at once. Weâ€™re like a dog with a chew toy in our mouths that we donâ€™t want to let go of, even though we also want to put a bone in our mouths. We want to have both at once â€¦ but we canâ€™t.
The answer is to lean into the power of One Thing.
Imagine, instead of having half a dozen goals at once, we only had one goal at a time. Weâ€™d be much more likely to accomplish that goal, because we could put our full power into it. It would be the only thing that would matter. We wouldnâ€™t waiver from this commitment â€” weâ€™d be like people ready to walk through walls to make it happen.
Imagine, instead of having half a dozen projects going on, that we could focus on one at a time. Weâ€™d pour everything we had into this project. It would get our full attention and full care. Wed be meticulous about this project, because weâ€™re not distracted. And once weâ€™re done with that, we could focus fully on the next project.
Now, I know not everyone has the luxury of being able to have only one project at a time, but you can see the power of this mode of working. Maybe we could put aside at least one or two projects for now, to focus on just a few. Or maybe we could split each project into mini-projects, and focus on each of those one at a time.
No matter what, we can bring the same kind of power of focus to single-tasking. Most of us know that single-tasking is a good thing, an effective way of working, but we rarely do it. Thatâ€™s because of a few factors:
- Weâ€™re pulled away by distractions
- We immediately think of other things we need to do and jump to do something on one of those tasks, like a dog distracted by a squirrel
- We are repelled away from a task thatâ€™s difficult, complicated or filled with uncertainty
When we allow ourselves to be pulled away by distractions or other tasks, weâ€™re allowing our focus to be diluted, and complicating our lives.
What if we could give ourselves the luxury of this kind of simplicity?
Itâ€™s fairly simple to practice too â€” we just have to keep it in mind:
- Pick the thing we want to focus on right now
- Clear a little space for it
- Go into fullscreen mode
But thereâ€™s something magical that happens when we give ourselves this undistracted space. Itâ€™s a staying in uncertainty, which is where real creativity happens. Itâ€™s forcing ourselves to come up with something new, when we donâ€™t have the answers. Itâ€™s giving the gift of full presence.
There is tremendous power in letting ourselves be in this space without running away. Without switching or letting ourselves be distracted. It is a shift to openness to whatâ€™s before us.
Itâ€™s also much more effective, as a way of working. And it just happens to be a great way to simplify everything we do â€” we can let go over being overloaded and spinning plates, and just be fully with one goal, one project, one task.
Part II: Questions & Answers
In this 2nd part of the webinar, I answered some great questions about:
- How does the one goal idea apply to multiple areas of your life?
- I did the steps and ended up with a short list of 7 items that bring me joy and are very important. How do I plan when some of those things aren’t daily activities but weekly?
- How do you deal with the uncertainty of choosing the most important task?
- Any tips on getting daily chores and admin done without it becoming a distraction (or avoidance tactic!) so you can still focus on one important thing – eg setting time limits ?
- Do you have some strategies for picking Most Important Tasks. Some times I feel like I’m picking off low-hanging fruit like “meditating” because I can make a case for that being important.
- So what happens to the daily items when you are focused on the whole Sat with kids, for example.