The Game Changer of adopting Essentialism
How often do you feel like you are on a merry-go-round of never-ending tasks and priorities?
Each day more projects are added to your onerous workload.
You suffer increased anxiety as you work through an endless list of tasks, feeling you have completed all of them poorly.
Aiming to please you say’ yes’ to everything and suffer the consequences later.
Essentialism is about doing less, but better.
It is about being more discerning in what projects, actions and commitments you agree to and those you decline.
Essentialism is working on the right things that make a difference, being completely focused and accountable for those actions and doing them to your highest standard possible.
The path to mastery requires the ability to allocate the majority of your capacity to your most important work.
This requires talent, discipline and discretion.
But probably the most critical tactic in adopting essentialism is in saying ‘no’.
Some examples might help to show the importance of saying ‘no’.
Working for Free. Do you take your car to a mechanic and ask him to fiddle around with it to see if it runs better? Ask your Accountant to lodge your tax returns for free? Ask the hairdresser to tease your hair? All for free of course. Other than your nearest and dearest (you shouldn’t run out of fingers on one hand here), don’t do this.
‘I want to catch up to pick your brain’. Other than people close to you, avoid this trap. Some people are bold and have no consideration for your time. It is generally the close relative of ‘Work for Free’.
The serial networker. This is the person who overheard your name read out at Starbucks. They have no respect for your time and no interest in you. Run the other way. Fast.
The asker of constant favours. It starts off innocently. But one favour becomes three. Then it never stops. Be firm in calling this out civilly. Explain you were happy to help them out, but you now have to return to important work.
The Needy Friend. Like the ‘asker of constant favours’, the Needy Friend uses guilt and your relationship as a sledgehammer. Your patience leads to frustration then resentment before a courageous conversation to shut this behavior down. Risking or terminating the friendship may be the end game.
Family obligations. We all love our family. Don’t we? But they can also drive us completely nuts. Using guilt and emotional blackmail are common tactics here. As adults, we need to move beyond the child we once were. What family members got away with in the past doesn’t have to continue. Develop a plan that aligns with your values. Don’t explain or complain.
The Stalker. This person is a stranger. They look you up and make contact. They ask to meet up with you without a premise or clear reason. Your polite attempts to decline their offer only generates a keener and more aggressive barrage of alternative dates to meet. You can never close the loop on an email reply. They always leave it open. If it feels weird. It is weird. Stop it.
What will happen in adopting essentialism?
You will find that you have more time to focus on your most important work.
You will spend more time with the important people in your life and experience deeper relationships.
You will achieve more goals and finish more important projects.
You will be less stressed and have fewer worries as you drop, or cut, the time spent with people drawing on your knowledge and emotional energy.
You will be happier as you spend more time doing the things you love.
In short, you will experience more joy in your work, enhanced wellbeing and greater success in your business.
To learn more, I recommend reading Greg McKeown’s book essentialism – the disciplined pursuit of less.