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This idea of doing only one thing was sparked by an event that happened this week. I decided to delete all podcasts on my phone and only keep the Tim Ferriss Show. In other areas of my life, I’ve done the same.
“I’ve selectively gone into each area and chosen one thing”
All the other things in the same category have been discarded. Here are some examples:
– I had two pairs of earphones and now I have one
– I’d read multiple books at the same time — now I do one at a time
– I had multiple tools to cure stress and now I have one — meditation
I then took this minimalistic approach from how I handled material possessions and applied it to what I do each day.
Here are some examples:
– I only pursue one passion now instead of many
– I only execute on one vision instead of many
– I only use my free time for one activity instead of many
Assess what you do and you’ll see one thing
If you look at each category of your life, you’ll see that you spend a disproportionate amount of time in one area. I’ve normally had a few passions but if I evaluate the last five years, most of my efforts have been put towards blogging.
I had a few other passions but I didn’t spend a lot of time doing them.
When I committed to doing one thing, I made a decision to stop pretending I cared about my other passions.
I listened to lots of podcasts until recently and I was constantly trying to keep up with the latest episodes. I found many of the podcasts shared similar messages and only one of them was life-changing in my eyes (The Tim Ferriss Podcast).
Now that I only listen to one podcast I can finally enjoy it, quit rushing and even playback episodes I’ve listened to already. Seeing the podcast screen with only one show on there is so refreshing!
Look at your life and you’ll see similar patterns.
It creates focus
Doing one thing gives you extreme focus. This focus can be channelled towards tasks that lead to mastery instead of trying to dabble in lots of unrelated passions.
Focus is how you reach states of flow and achieve results that look impossible.
Doing one thing causes you to focus and practice more. Through this process, you can see your failures, areas of improvement and areas that you’re good at. This form of reflection gives you real-time feedback that can further compound your results.
“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” — Stephen Covey
It avoids overwhelm
We can’t compute too many things at once. The power of doing one thing is that you avoid overwhelm. We can all manage one thing in each area of our life. The moment we introduce too many choices we end up with decision fatigue.
Overwhelm is selling yourself the false reality that you have to do everything to be successful. I’ve learned it’s the complete opposite.
To be successful, you have to focus and do one thing. Being successful is about not giving up and if you consistently put yourself into a state of overwhelm then you’ll simultaneously increase your negative thought patterns.
This milkshake of negativity will mix together and end up in failure if you let it.
Overwhelm is the enemy of passion and energy. Passion and energy become hyper-focused when you focus on one thing.
One romantic partner.
Embrace the power of doing one thing.