There’s been a consistent theme this week among my clients, my friends, and my life: the need to pare back on what we’re doing. The problem with paring back on what we’re doing is that we have to set priorities and say no to doing things that don’t match them. Which is hard.
I’m kind of telling you no today. I write these posts on Saturdays and Sundays, but there was a wrinkle in my life this week. I hosted the wedding of one of my favorite people at my house yesterday. It was supposed to be an outside wedding, but the weather had other ideas. Here are a couple of photos to give you an idea of how it played out. They are of my bedroom after we moved 75% of the furniture from my great room into it and the great room set up for the wedding. It was gorgeous and a great party and today I’m dead on my feet.
So instead of writing a full on post, I’m sharing a favorite episode of my Uniquely Brilliant podcast. In Episode 88 , Diana and I talk about the concept of essentialism. I’m also reading the book, Essentialism, by Greg McKeown.
As McKeown says, “The way of the Essentialist is the relentless pursuit of less but better. It doesn’t mean occasionally giving a nod to the principle. It means pursuing it in a disciplined way.” It’s figuring out the right things to get done and dropping everything else. Which is incredibly hard – because it requires clarity of purpose and absolute fidelity to priorities. Plus it requires us to say No on a regular basis.
Some highlights from the podcast:
- We tend to believe we have to do it all; that it’s wrong to delegate or even drop tasks.
- We can ask ourselves is, “Am I the best choice to do what needs to be done in this situation?”
- When other people are actually the priority (like kids, partners (at home or at work), or employees), it’s crucial to get their input about what makes them feel like they are a priority.
- When we know our priorities, it becomes easier to delegate or let go of things that don’t honor them.
- We do our best when we focus on what we do best.
- Just because we can do more doesn’t mean we should.
- Being busy does not equal being productive.
- We can filter opportunities through the Essentialism lens and choose the best ones for us.
- When our priorities are respected we feel valued.
I’ll leave you with this quote from Lao-Tzu as quoted by McKeown:
To attain knowledge add things every day. To attain wisdom subtract things every day.