Stop Doing it All!
by Jim M. Allen
The 21st century sure seems to have brought a lot of great
ideas, projects, and work for people to do. I say that
because I've seen quite an increase in the number of people
who contact me for help on how to juggle all these various
So that everyone can benefit, I'm going to tell you like I tell all those people who call & write: You can get out of this "doing everything" trap and get a lot more done in the process. Here's how:
1. YOU CAN'T DO EVERYTHING ANYWAY
Face it: If you could do everything, none of the rest of us
would have to worry about anything, would we? Truth is that
there's always much more to be done than there is time to do
When you realize that you're not going to get it all done by
yourself it gets a whole lot easier to do what work you do
have to do.
2. JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE A LOT TO DO DOESN'T MEAN IT ALL NEEDS DOING
Closely examine the stuff on your "to do" or projects list.
Some of it just doesn't need doing. Not now at any rate.
And in some cases, not ever.
Don't believe me? Put it at the bottom of the list and leave
it there for a while. You'll see.
3. SAY "NO" MORE THAN YOU SAY "YES"
I don't know why, but it seems like the people who are most
willing to volunteer for a new project or additional work
are the ones who just DON'T have the time available to do
Get in the habit of saying "no" to requests for your time
more than you say "yes" and soon you'll have a lot more time
If you can't say "no" then get as much time to work on the
project as you possibly can (and give yourself plenty of
time to get it done).
4. HAVE ALL THE IDEAS YOU WANT... BUT WORK ON ONE IDEA AT A TIME
Many people tell me that they have "too many" ideas: they
can't get anything done because they keep getting new ideas
to work on.
The problem isn't the number of ideas, it's that they're
trying to work on all of them at the same time. (See #2.)
You just can't do that, not if you want to get anything
done. So, keep coming up with great ideas, but write them
down and save them for later while you work on one
idea/project at a time.
5. YOU CAN'T DO IT ALL, BUT WE JUST MIGHT
Whether it's work or a just a fun project, you improve your
chances of success when you share some of the workload with
So the next time you find yourself trying to do it all,
remember these few ideas and do a little less... You may
just find that you actually get a lot more done in the
Jim Allen is a professional life coach, speaker, and writer. Get more great ideas in you email every week by subscribing to Jim's weekly newsletter, THE BIG IDEA, by sending a blank email to: mailto:Subscribe@CoachJim.com (©2001 Jim Allen & CoachJim.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)
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