I used to think that I had to do it all. That being busy meant I was doing something great. And then I learned one simple word that hold so much freedom for our lives and businesses. No. All I had to do was learn to say no. I know I'm not the only one who has struggled with this little word. As women we are often thrown into too many roles and responsibilities that keep us busy and allow us to be easily overwhelmed. We are wives, mothers, business owners, employees, students, sisters, friends, daughters, and sometimes all of the above. Needless to say, that lends to a heavy load on our shoulders every day. But we don't have to be everything to everyone all the time. We don't have to do it all. I have learned (and am still learning) the art of saying no to some things in order to make room for even better things. I have learned to do one thing really well over doing ten things with half my strength and attention. And you can too.
Less is more
I'm sure you've heard the saying that less is more and I'm a big believer in this. With less to worry about, we can focus more on what's in front of us right now. Simplifying your work load can do amazing things for your life and business. Who says we have to do it all anyway?
As a creative, I completely understand that your mind is always coming up with new things and ideas. That you love doing a variety of creative things, and that you are always wanting to try something new. I too have fallen victim to having "too many ideas and too little time". In fact, before I did my rebrand a couple of months ago, I was doing too much. I was following every new idea and trying to do it all. But in the end, those ideas could not be brought to full potential because I wasn't able to dedicate enough time or energy to each of them. I just did not have enough hours in the day. After rebranding, narrowing my focus, and changing my perspective. I realize that I don't have to do it all, and I don't want to.
Channel your energy into one thing
Once I learned to choose less and say no to some of my ideas, I was able to focus more time and energy into making those other things into something big. Instead of spreading yourself too thin and trying to do more than you can physically and mentally handle, choose what is most important right now and forget about the rest. If you divide your attention to too many things, you will be on the fast track to overwhelm and burnout. Instead, shift your mindset into one that tells you it's ok to do one thing really well and let someone else handle the other stuff. By focusing on one thing, you will master that one thing.
I'm not saying that you literally have to do just one thing. For instance, I still have a variety of products and services that I offer in my business. I still commit to several things in my life that are important to me. What I'm saying is that we can choose to focus on certain things instead of worrying about too many. We can find what makes us most happy, what we are most passionate about, and spend more time doing that.
In life and in business
This idea can be put to work in both your life and your business. The concept is still the same - you just don't have to do it all. Whether you are trying to be everything to everyone in your life or make every big idea happen in your business, you are probably doing too much. We have been stuck on this path of busy for too long. We feel a natural pull to filling our to-do lists with all the things. But what's the hurry? I know I don't want to rush my life away only to turn around and find out too much time has passed because I was too busy running around to notice. We can do one thing at a time and invest our time into doing it well so that we can more time left over for the good stuff. And you know I'm all about the good stuff!
We all struggle with this. It's hard to say no and choose one thing over the other. It's hard to understand the concept that we don't always have to be doing something. But we can take it one day at a time, one idea at a time. Do that one thing first and then move on to the next. You will be surprised about the impact that can have on your life and your business. I still find myself walking the edge with this all the time. And I'm sure I will venture back over to the other side a time or two. But ultimately my goal is to slow down and invest my time and energy into what really matters and what is in front of me right now. The rest can wait, right?
Do you find yourself going in too many directions? How do you reign it in and choose one thing to focus on?
PS: If you liked this post, you might also like How to Find White Space in Your Life.