Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
Disclaimer: This post includes an affiliate link (and some colorful language)
Ever find yourself spiraling out of control in your head, like you're falling through a rabbit hole?
True story. Today, I planned to get my house back in order since Wednesdays are days I invest most of my time catching up with the housework. So while I'm setting out to clear my table and fold laundry, I start thinking about all I need to do for my business. I have so many ideas and plans for it but as soon as I start to put pen to paper, I drift off into a different state of mind. I don't get much done because of it and so, cleaning is now put on the wayside.
I'm easily distracted lately.
What's distracting me is the next great idea that I want to start working on...as soon as I think of it. It might be okay if it were only one idea but that one idea turns into something bigger and often times unrelated to the first. Then I'm found chasing that possibility, making plans to see it to fruition, and then boom...I'm spiraling down the rabbit hole to the next great idea and then we're back to a sort of "rinse and repeat" cycle.
Nothing ever really starts.
So as I thought about banging my head on the wall trying to snap the hell out of this cycle, I decided instead to do some research and see if anyone else is as dizzy as I am. I've read so many articles about different project management systems, mind mapping tools, and shit like that. None of it helps because the bigger issue as I see it, is my inability to keep focused on the intended task at hand. The problem is my inability to not venture away from my original idea's intent.
I can't stop falling through the damn rabbit holes.
A while back, a friend of mind recommended a book to me called Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. In summary, this book talks about how entrepreneurs can start saying no to situations allowing them more time doing more of what brings them joy. This book was a godsend because it opened my eyes to a way of constructing my business around a set of boundaries, allowing me to formulate a comfortable working policy of "If it doesn't feel good in my soul, the answer is no." Well by applying the same principles, I can create a "checks and balances" for my thought process in my business strategies. As a matter of fact, there is a part in the book where I added my own notes, one of which says "Only a few things really matter." I'm reminded that I need to say no to distractions disguised as ideas; especially when those ideas have no place within my mission of making photographs to inspire multi-passionate introvert moms in being their best selves without apologies .
Time to really get my shit back together.
I am giving this book another read from a fresh perspective to be applied to my business as there is a lot of shit to take in. To be a true essentialist though, you really need to embody the mind-set of doing less to get more. It's not about being a slacker but about evaluating situations and being proactive in creating a disciplined, selective process of doing or not doing "a thing."
In my case, my thought process needs a system to check whether or not "a distraction" is an idea worth pursuing to progress my original mission. One of those checks (which is explained in the book) is to give myself room to explore and ponder all the possibilities of an idea but in a structured time blocked kind of way; a brainstorming day if you will. Since my thoughts seem to come at random, I will need another check to write them down and revisit them only on my set brainstorming day. I'm positive this practice as well as the other tips in the book will help keep me out of the rabbit hole in the future.
If you're struggling with keeping on task for your business and personal life, I highly HIGHLY recommend you get this book. Keep referring back to it as often as necessary because you'll uncover new situations in your life that this book will provide applicable insight.