Simplify to Focus

Today, when you hit that point of overwhelm (which we all do at some point every day), pull back and ask yourself this: “Why am I doing this?” And then ask “What is the tiniest, simplest single step I can take right now?”

Shrink whatever it is down to the most basic elements.

Last night, our children were tired and fell prey to serial disobedience. We decided it was a good idea to put them to bed early (around 7:15). Much wailing and gnashing of teeth followed.

We wanted to just let them out of their rooms, put on a DVD, and call it a day. We thought about neighbors hearing our children scream at us (it’s always louder to our own ears). We thought about wanting to have a relatively post-work debrief of the day. We were tempted to give in. I mean, how horrible to put our 4 year olds and 6 year old to bed at 7:15?

But this was our commitment: To teach the need to listen and obey.

I had to keep reminding myself: We are helping them understand that when we ask them to do certain things, and if they (repeatedly) do not do those things, then that is unacceptable. We are a family and certain ethics, rules, and commitments to respect must be enforced. And the fussing would only last for 30 minutes, one hour tops.

They slept well. They’re happy this morning.

This applies, though, anywhere. If you’re at your inbox and overwhelmed with a flood of messages, focus on 1 message. Even create a separate folder and pull one message at a time into that folder and work them one at a time.

With your weight, focus on the next one hour.  Commit to one glass of water and no snacks for one hour. Or focus on your goal.

Finances, simplify to one day: Today, I will spend nothing. I will not buy anything. Nothing.

Whatever your goal is, pull back to (a) the why or your deep, core reason and (b) small, tiny, bite-sized chunks.

It might help.

 

 

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