Just Do the One Thing
Do you have a hard time focusing? I’m sure there are dozens of things that you feel you want to accomplish. However, every day a million things are competing for your attention. Naturally, you find it hard to focus on just one thing, but that is precisely what you must do if you want to make real change or accomplish a goal.
If you are wildly ambitious, incredibly creative, or highly driven, chances are you have many goals and may find it hard to know what you should focus on. Maybe you want to be a better writer, learn to code, or play the violin. All of these things interest you. How do you choose just one? One way to do so is by eliminating things that do not have a directly applicable and clear reward. More simply put, focus on the goal that provides the highest return. Sure, learning to play the violin would be great. It has been proven that playing music improves brain function and boosts self-confidence, but if those reasons are not an area in your life that you are trying to improve upon, you may find it hard to find the time to practice. If, however, you want to improve your coding abilities to pass a phase in an interview process or complete a project you will be graded on, chances are you will be more likely to hold yourself accountable. It is much easier to focus when being graded or when others are watching. So, how do you keep yourself accountable if you aren’t being graded or trying to land a job in tech? You do so by choosing a highly important goal that you can derive tangible benefits from immediately and focusing on that one thing.
What is a highly important goal? That is something that you must decide. It may be the most difficult part of goal setting. Choosing just one thing to focus on is challenging for wildly ambitious people as it is natural to have a wide range of interests and a desire to accomplish a lot. A question I ask myself to gain focus is, “What does not completing this task look like? What does it feel like?” If I can picture myself blissful and at peace, I let it go. Letting go of things requires discipline. Whenever one hears the word discipline, they think of what they must give up and immediately lose motivation. However, discipline is derived from the word disciple, which means to serve. By that definition, discipline does not focus on what we can not do but on what we do to serve a higher purpose. In our case, the higher purpose is reaching our goals.
When you choose just one thing, your focus will become laser sharp; you will become less scattered and more at peace. Everything else more easily falls into place as you reach for your goal with intense focus. When you let go of a less critical task, you feel lighter and have the energy to put into the essential thing that yields the highest return. So, what will you choose to focus on? What will be your one thing?