I feel like I'm failing so slow, but I think I'm succeeding. It's been a busy week with retail sales rounding the corner to our busy season, yet, I don't feel I'm making enough progress because my attention is being called to multiple time-consuming responsibilities at work and home. I've noticed myself saying out loud, "Things are ok. It's just going to be a long couple of days, but it's temporary," which helped, but it didn't help me focus necessarily on what to do first. Where do you begin when everything feels like a priority?
Screaming "Serenity Now!" won't help when you're stressed, moving into a new home, or in my case, have customers with needs that are being met by challenges to fill them. Engaging with the feelings of I have a lot to do and then working through what needs to happen led me to revisit a book I read last year, The One Thing, and re-listen to a 55-minute presentation I recorded in 2019 detailing the book's philosophy of goal setting and prioritization. Thankfully, the opportunity for reflection helped me remember some essential points for moving forward, and I think this can benefit all of us busybodies.
There are many personal projects and professional job duties that I have going on that I feel like I'm moving forward a little bit at a time, and I think that's good. But, in busy times like now, it may help to be mindful that everything doesn't matter equally. That doesn't mean ignoring work or the projects I'm responsible for completing. It means it's time to prioritize the most important task and be sure it gets done. I can't do everything for everyone at the same time. That is not my One Thing, and trying to be was provoking feelings like I'm failing at giving "enough." Like I'm not doing enough for my customers and servicing stores, or that I wasn't showing up for my fiancé and the moves we're making together.
After re-engaging with the mindset of prioritizing my One Thing this week, I’m asking myself when it comes to making progress and getting things done, what am I trying to progress, and why is that a priority? And, is it possible that I am succeeding so slowly that it feels like I’m failing?
When you are busy, with many tasks and responsibilities calling your name, how do you find yourself setting a priority of action? Are you OK with taking a small step forward to get started, or do you roll up your sleeves and do the most challenging task first? Speaker Geoff Woods, also the host of The 1 Thing Podcast, says that just because you have clarity on your One Thing and take action on it would still require you to recognize that the results from our efforts don’t come until much later.
So, how would you use the One Thing mindset to find your way through feeling stuck when there are many tasks to do, and feelings of overwhelm and lack of progress outweigh the slow-moving reality of success and accomplishment? It may help to grab a sheet of paper and write out these questions. They start by asking,
If you come up with a vague statement and not a specific activity, then ask yourself, how would you know that you're successful in taking action on your One Thing? I think using this process will be helpful in navigating the busy landscape ahead.
"It's important to keep asking until you arrive at an activity that you can do. Then, you then time block that One Thing. Schedule time with yourself to do it, and when you show up for that time block, you protect it." – Geoff Woods
Everyone is busy, and some of the progress made this week hadn't always felt sufficient, good enough, or satisfactory for other responsibilities I had. I want to remember my prioritization process to focus on stacking my domino's, leading to compounding action towards my ultimate goal for this year. Yes, I'm doing a few projects but accumulating small wins that are coming slowly, one at a time, feels like I'm failing slowly. Still, I may right where I need to be continually taking steps forward, especially with my time blocking and prioritization exercise I came up with, called Last Week from My Perspective.
Having a self-coaching accountability form with questions like, "What was the main goal or priority that I was going to focus on the previous week?", "What do I want to focus on this upcoming week?" and "What underlying fear, hesitation, or lack of motivation do I feel about taking action?" has been a helpful exercise I've completed weekly for almost three years now. Indeed, I identify one priority weekly, and time blocking for action with this document helped prioritize what steps needed to be taken for writing Where the Change Happens. This is a good mindset as I advance to continue to re-engage with The One Thing's philosophy to get myself blocking and protecting my time again.
Is there anything you’re struggling to make progress on? What progress are you hoping for? It’s a journey, one step at a time, but remember these questions,
Just imagine the results you could experience.
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