How To Stop Trying To Do It All

Published: November 23, 2010
By: Faye Hollands

Here’s one of my biggest flaws … I like to try and do everything myself.  Am I a control freak? A bit.  Is independence a thorn in my side?  Yes, sometimes.  And the thing is, I know I’m not alone.  I work with busy, ambitious people everyday who are constantly trying to fit too much into 24 hours, and invariably end up finding  themselves in a state of overwhelm or burnout pretty quickly.  So how can you stop yourself trying to do it all?

Stop Trying

I read a blog post by entrepreneur Emma Isaacs recently that got me thinking.  She mentioned a conversation she’d had with Natalie Bloom of Bloom Cosmetics, who said that the best advice she’d been given was “only do what’s important”.  Very simple, yet empowering advice is you choose to embrace it fully.

If you like to think that you can do it all, you hopefully also realise that that’s not always possible unless you want to self-destruct at some point.  So how different would your day look if you only focused on “what’s important”?

Take a moment now to answer these questions:-

  • What activities would you cut out if you were only focusing on what’s important? Would you spend less time on emails, cut out a project or two, give drinks a miss so that you could see your family, or switch off the TV so that you could walk your dog?…
  • What would be the benefit of cutting certain activities out of your schedule? Would you be more focused on your work, get things done with greater efficiency and productivity, spend more time with your family or friends?…
  • Would there be any cost involved in these cuts? Consider whether there will be any negative consequences of cutting out particular tasks

Assuming the costs are minor, and in most cases you’ll find they are, answering these questions will force you to be honest with yourself about how you’re spending your time.  If your day is peppered with things that aren’t important to you then you need to change your focus.

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Perhaps the harsh reality is that you’re filling your day with tasks that seem pointless and unimportant to you because you’re in the wrong job or career.  Or you might discover that you need to learn to delegate and manage your time more effectively so that you focus on what’s really important instead of trying to do it all.

I still have a streak of “I can do it all” running through me, BUT the difference these days is that I realise I can’t fit it all in without ending up stressed and frazzled.  As I’ve learned to manage my time more smartly over the years one of the biggest changes I’ve made is that I focus on what’s really important in my day to stop myself becoming distracted by ‘everything else’ that’s competing for my time and attention.

Start your day, everyday, asking yourself “Whats important to me?” and let me know how differently you spend your time – post a comment below!

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Written by Faye Hollands – Director at Outshine Consulting. Faye is an accomplished Career Coach and Time Management Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success.

To receive your FREE MP3 download of Faye’s popular teleseminar ‘How To Create A Career You Love‘ and weekly articles to improve your career and time management skills click here.

You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email fayehollands@outshineconsulting.com

If you’d like to find how to change, develop or manage your career more effectively simply click here.

Faye Hollands

About Faye Hollands

Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success. To receive weekly articles to improve your career, business and time management skills click here or book your Free Focus Session here.

You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email fayehollands@outshineconsulting.com

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One Response to How To Stop Trying To Do It All

  1. Hi Fay,
    I absolutely agree, habit 3 in Steven’s Covey book “the seven habits of highly effective people ” is First thing First, apparently after a research Steven’s company conducted about this habit they have found out that so few people adhere to this habit, they decided to release a separate book dedicated only for this habit, , not surprisingly called “First thing first”. As you said – the mantra is focus on what’s important (rather than what is urgent)

    Thanks ,
    John

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