You will never get it all done

This concept has been one that has helped me immensely. Having worked for many years now with the idea of “setting a context” I have known that when you focus in on what really matters, other things fall to the wayside, and that’s okay. Part of being focused and committed to things does mean that you will definitely drop the ball. I drop the ball from time to time… and I’ve become calm about that. Part of the learning here is to not to take on so many balls that you drop them! Know your capacity.

Recently I’ve delved into Oliver Burkeman’s book 4000 Weeks, which continues to reinforce the challenge (and trend) I’m seeing around how we are choosing to use our limited time. Many people are choosing different lifestyles to support their ability to really make the most of their limited days and hours, choosing family over hefty careers, or choosing to focus on a very specific work area (rather than trying to be an expert in everything).

Burkeman, a self-confessed productivity and efficiency junkie, highlights the fact that continuously trying to be efficient does nothing more than create space for more. More on our to-do list, more in our home life pressures, more in our work schedules. For, no matter how many times we clear the decks, more is there. This is the fundamental principle of overwhelm. The feeling that there is always more to do and never enough time in which to do it, leading to a form of paralysis or inability to actually do anything at all.

High performers are aware of this. They choose carefully. They know that being great at something is at the sacrifice of something else. Rather than view this as a negative thing (a giving up of something), real high performers are grateful for the opportunity to put their deepest focus into something and are aware of the privilege around “getting to” give something up instead of “having to”. This giving up of some element in your life is a first step in being truly present with what you have, which in turn allows you to live in the moment, the only time we really have – right now.