Do you ever feel exhausted by all the things you have to do? Being busy “doing” burns us out, it scatters our brains, and ultimately it keeps us from being productive because we are simply too exhausted to focus.
An alternative to “doing” is to practice “not doing.” Practicing not doing is about stopping the busy-ness – putting it down, taking a break, getting focused and choosing a new path.
Let’s examine the art of not doing one piece at a time.
What does it mean to stop? Imagine you are in the middle of a busy day – you have your to-do list, your meetings, your calendar, your email – so many things to do, so many pressures, and you know you’re never going to get it all done. Imagine if, just for the moment, you closed up shop, and walked away. What does it look like for you? Maybe it’s simply walking into another room and sitting quietly for a moment.
The first step is to break the connection and stop doing, even if just for a moment, so you can get some perspective.
The second step is to get focused. Getting focused means remembering the single-most important thing you should be doing. What’s essential? Asking yourself what your priority is will help you quiet the demands on your time, both internal and external, and focus on the one thing that matters most to you.
So now you’ve stopped the busy-ness, you’ve gotten focused again – now you can move forward to the third step – moving forward. Moving forward means clearing the desk and getting out a fresh sheet of paper, with a fresh mindset to match, and redefining how you use your time.
With this strategy you’ll find that a lot of things that were taking your time share, and mind share, before will fall away – because now you are focused on the number one most important thing.
When you practice not doing, you can breathe again. You can focus on your most important goals and you can finally stop the busy-ness. You’ll feel re-energized, you’ll feel excited again and you’ll be more effective than ever. All it takes is three steps: Stop the doing, get focused and move forward.
For more ways to improve your personal leadership and gain more control over your time and productivity, see Joelle’s book: The Inner Edge: The 10 Practices of Personal Leadership.