"We can be sure that the greatest hope for maintaining equilibrium in the face of any situation rests within ourselves."
- Francis J. Braceland
I recently attended a talk on work-life balance. As with anything, I try to note the take-aways from what is presented, and how I can apply the lessons, thoughts, and inspiration that I gained, into my own life. One of my take-aways from that evening was this. A simple yet complex question was asked, that will most likely make you say, hold on give me a minute to think about this. It was to ask yourself: What is one thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary? The speaker shared that the question came from the book, The One Thing, which is written by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. I haven't yet read this book, but I hope to in the very near future. When I heard this question, my reaction was, "wow, this is tough". Usually there are so many things going on, but to center it to one thing, that's something I needed to sleep on. So, what is the one thing at work? What is the one thing this week? What is the one thing today, which you can do that will make everything else easier or unnecessary?
The point of the question is to get you to make choices, figure out your priorities, and gain energy to be productive. This one thing is the solution to eliminate many of the issues which coincide with each other. When you figure out what the one thing is, you will be able to pin point the nucleus of an issue that creates other issues. If you think about it, if you develop a keen sense of ability to pick out the one thing, you will be able to problem solve and decide what you can do that will make things easier. If things are easier you will be able to save time, and spend it on things you value. As well, you will have a sense of direction, because ultimately the one thing is based on personal goals and values. These drive your choices, priorities, and productivity. We're getting many steps ahead, but again it all starts with figuring out what the one thing is.
In no way am I endorsing this book, but simply I thought I would share this question which I had not heard before this speaker presented it. I can tell you after leaving this discussion of work-life balance; I sat down and wondered what the one thing was for me. Then after a few days it came to me. I decided to disable noise features on my iPhone for email and text. For me it was the one thing I could do to stop myself from getting distracted and losing focus. Let me tell you, so far it has been easier to focus on the things I am working on, without thinking if the alert I just got was an email from so and so. I realized I was conditioned to check email and texts from the sound that alerted me to check my phone. This caused other issues like guilt, loss of time, and loss of concentration. Because my one thing was to disable the sound, I no longer feel guilt and anger about losing time and getting side tracked from something I am currently working on. For me, this was the one that has helped me this week.
So... thinking about the question again, what is your one thing? Feel free to share.