“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.”
Good morning, friends. Time is precious today, so let’s just get to it, shall we?
I don’t know when or how it happened, but sometime in my lifetime “busy” became the gold standard of the desired life. Everyone, it seems, wants to hail themselves as “busy”.
* I never knew how much I had to do until I retired.
* Man, I’m exhausted.
* My kids keep me on the run all the time.
* My calendar has no white space.
The clichés are plentiful. We honor busy and think that people not busy are failing, somehow. When did this absurd pursuit of exhaustion become so important to us?
Recent studies that have crossed my awareness remind me of the power of focus. Yutang calls it “the wisdom of life.” Basically, not everything we do has the same value to us, yet we treat everything as if it does. The “wisdom” is to eliminate, to the best of one’s ability, things not of the highest value and focus on the matters of the highest value. It sounds reasonable and easy, but changing our life patterns is anything but easy.
Most of us can at least say what is most important to us. Health, family, success, faith, rest… plenty of choices for “most important”. Is your time prioritizing that essential? Likely not; the “busy” virus is powerful. If you are blessed enough to be able to name your top three priorities then you have a starting point.
Why not begin small? After all, “busy” is a powerful foe. Again, with a clear focus on your top three priorities, whittle away one non-essential for a month. Don’t do that one thing and replace the time with one of your top three. Next month, whittle away a second non-essential activity. Make the swap for a month. Then a third, then a fourth, and so on. At some point, you will have an over-balanced focus on your top three and I guarantee you will feel great about your success.
Be aware: I know that nothing I have said is mind-bending or earth-shattering. But there are personal investments in every activity on your schedule, some yours, others by expectations. And there’s the whole business of slavery to busy-ness. And if you want success you have to focus, and focus is a narrow vision that eliminates peripherals. There are things to lose, but what you will gain by focus is greater than you can imagine. Can you see me now?! Have a wonderful week!