Do One Thing Right Already!
The smartphone is an amazing invention. With one device, you can make calls, send texts and emails, listen to music, read books, plan your day, shine light with its flashlight, level cabinets, time your hardboiled eggs, count your steps, etc. And it does all this stuff fairly competently. Technology’s ability to have so many foci might lead people to foolish assumptions about their own capacity to do the same. As executive coach Greg McKeown explains in this short video, often the best thing we can do toward higher performance is focus on doing one thing well. McKeown even has even written a book about his belief titled, “Essentialism–The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.”
Playing off the industrial designer Dieter Rams’ axiom “less, but better,” McKeown explains why trying to do everything too often makes us stress-out underperformers. He compelling argues that we need to create regular mental and physical space to step out of our busyness, even if it means saying no to a lot of things. In this space, we can start seeing what’s important and how it relates to the big picture. He also explains how being an essentialist can be an uncomfortable position to be in, saying no when others are saying yes, reigning in when others are striving to expand. But in the end, it’s about excellence: being great at one thing rather than being a hack at many (our words, not his).