How To Achieve More By Doing Less

Achive more by doing less

Just go straight. Don't look around.

“Without ambition, no goal can be met” ~ Kya Aliana.

You have many goals in life. And you are ambitious. You are one step ahead of average people, who have many goals and never take any action, because you are willing to do the work.

Just imagine if you have everything you want in life, how happy you will be. And it starts with you.

You are excited. You are pumped up with the idea of a perfectly successful life of yours, and you start to write a long list of things you want to achieve. You need to get your unconscious mind to know what you want, so that it can give them to you.

After you write down everything you want, your heart sinks to your stomach. So many things to do, yet you don’t have time. So you are left with two choices: either to work until exhaustion to try to achieve them, or be realistic and drop some of them. Both options are not appealing.

What will you choose?

Why trying to achieve so many things will backfire on you 

I created my New Year’s resolution for this year - 2018. 

In the previous years, my New Year’s resolution was very long, challenging and inspiring. And that was S.T.U.P.I.D. So this year I turned my resolution to S.M.A.R.T.

It can turn people off, just by looking at it. I know some people will say “Don’t you have anything else you want to achieve?” and “Why did you set so little goals for a whole year?”.

I have a good answer for them. But they are not in my goals. So I don’t have to explain myself to them.

Yes, my goal this year is short. But it is not easy. It is challenging and inspiring. It makes me excited just by thinking about it. And it is realistic.

It wasn’t easy to shut down my ego, understand my limitations and accept my ability to come up with a SMART resolution. Here are a few reasons why trying to achieve so many things will backfire on you.

1. You spread yourself too thin 

People are talented. And so are we. So we feel the urge of competition when we face one. It’s normal to want to become a dancer, a singer, a scientist, a writer at the same time. 

It would be amazing if you can become all of those. But don’t.

It is possible for you to know how to dance, know how to sing, how to write and how to do many stuff at the same time. But you cannot become the top of the field by doing so.

No matter how hard you try, your time is limited, your energy is limited. It’s better to master one thing than know many things.

2. You set yourself up for failure

Let’s face a brutal truth. Your ideas are not unique. Your thoughts are not one of a kind. Many people have been doing the same thing, reaching the same goals you are aiming at.

The competition is always crazy.

Life is not just a simple equation, when your hard work will be paid off my amazing results. Life is much more complicated than that. And that’s why it’s exciting and beautiful.

But if you spread yourself too thin, you lower your own chance to become the expert in your field. Dealing with a wide competition, if you don’t go full out, you are setting yourself up for failure.

3. You are determined for ultimate burnout

If you bite your tongue and try to commit to your goals, you are facing another problem. 

Time-constraint.

It’s not that you are not talented or you don’t have what it takes. You are capable of everything you want. But not your time.

You only have 24 hours a day. To reach all of your goals, you will see yourself working at least 23 hours a day.

What will you do? Cut off your sleeping time and work yourself until burnout?

Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Success will come if you consistently work every day to your goals rather than playing catch-up.

4. You damage your health 

An average person needs around 7 hours a day to recover. Unless you are blessed (or cursed) to recover in a much shorter time. 

If being burnout is your normal feeling, you might be sabotaging your own chance to success. Even if you can make it work somehow, success is meaningless when the cost is your health.

You don’t want to reach your goal, and then give up on your dream because of your health, do you?

How to achieve more by doing less  

The answer might turn you off too. 

By doing deep work, meaningful work. By increase your focus. By completely focus on one goal at a time. By putting all your effort, heart and soul to that one goal.

So instead of going for all the things on your list, pick one or two goals that are most important to you. And stick to them.

Start saying “no”, even to yourself, to other options, no matter how tempting they are.

  • No new skills. Focus on the skills you already have. Don’t spend your time thinking about a new skill. Work on your current skills and turn them to your strengths.
  • No new books or new knowledge. Stop buying so many books that you never read them. Stop bookmarking so many pages that you never open. Clear your bookshelf, open your bookmark articles and finish them. Clear them off your saved list.
  • No new mentor. Each person has their own method. No matter how successful they are compared to each other. Stop reading about them and try their methods for couple weeks then quit. Pick one mentor. Follow him. Period.
  • Focus, focus, focus. Take a deep breath and stay in the moment. When you catch yourself trying to learn new things, stop what you are doing and turn your focus back to what you already have.

Instead of spreading wider, try digging deeper 

Tear off the piece of paper that you already wrote your goals on. And start from scratch. 

What are the goals that you want to achieve this year, the goals that you already started?

Listen to your heart, trust your instinct and dig deeply. Successful talented people are not people who can do many things at one time, but they are people who can do one thing extremely well all the time.

Don’t go wider. Go deeper.

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Mai Pham
 

Mai Pham is the founder of Live a Worthy Life. She believes we can recreate our lives. Her mission is to help you to ditch your stress, anxiety, and worries to enjoy life again.

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