Are you one of those people who is trying to do too many things at once? You attempt each of them simultaneously, see no progress anywhere, and throw your hands up in surrender.
For many, this is a frustrating cycle where you try your best but can’t make any headway. You don’t know how to stay focused on the task at hand and feel like you can’t get anything accomplished.
Let’s look at why it might be happening and how to get out of this unproductive spiral.
One of my audience members sought advice for the following situation:
“I’m trying to do everything at once. I see no progress anywhere, and because of that, I give up quickly. I grab something else, and the cycle continues. Help me!”
To me, this sounds like a prioritization and motivation issue. So I have some questions for anyone struggling with this.
- Why do you want to work on everything at once? Why can’t you pick up just one thing?
- Why do you give up so quickly and easily? Why do you seek those immediate results as a way of motivating you to continue pushing forward?
Let’s address both questions, but first, I want to share something very important.
If you are the one struggling with trying to do too many things at once, this message is for you.
You cannot do everything. It is impossible.
And until you feel and believe that inside your mind and your heart, nothing will change.
If you read that and don’t really believe it in your bones, I have a simple exercise for you.
Grab a piece of paper and write down all the life areas where you spend your time. Try not to forget anything.
You’ll likely have a list of around ten things like:
- Personal time
- Social Life
Try to think about your typical week and what you spend your time on, and break them down into those areas.
Once you list them all, draw a circle to create a simple pie chart.
Create slices in the circle to represent the time spent in each area of life you’ve listed. It doesn’t need to be precise—just your best guesstimate.
Now, you’ll have a visual representation of how many things you have on your plate.
It’s quite a lot, right?
If you want to take it a step further, you can create an “ideal life” pie chart, dividing your time as you wish.
Now, you have a starting point.
You see what’s on your plate, what can be removed or rearranged, and you start taking small steps toward your ideal life.
If you pick a book to add to the pile of unfinished books, remember that you have to take time away from something else before adding it to your reading time.
There are only so many hours in a day.
The takeaway here?
You can only prioritize the right way if you acknowledge that your resources, time, and capacity are limited.
How To Prioritize Your Time Well
Prioritizing your time is a lot easier when you know how you’re spending your time.
Let’s continue using your pie chart and list from the previous section.
Rate each area of your life on a scale of 1-10, 10 being absolutely satisfied and one being completely dissatisfied.
One caveat: Don’t immediately rush to change those ones and twos. Instead, pick one area you know you can improve by just one point.
I don’t want you to go from two to ten. I want you to go from five to six.
Grab the low-hanging fruit. What can you really tackle this month and improve it by one?
Focus on that, and whenever something new comes up that you want to add to your plate, ask yourself if it will help you elevate that one area by one.
If it won’t, push back on it.
That’s how to stay focused on the things that you want to accomplish.
If you’re having trouble sticking with that decision and low-hanging fruit, you probably need to look toward motivation.
NOT ALL MOTIVATION IS CREATED EQUAL
Sometimes, we’re motivated to do things for the right reasons, and other times, for the wrong ones.
Unfortunately, the wrong reasons can sometimes be the strongest.
Let me explain.
I look at motivation from two dimensions: One is an external force, like fear or seeking approval, and the other is an internal desire, something you genuinely believe in and know will help you achieve your goals and well-being.
Another angle to view this is whether you’re motivated by an outcome or the process.
Let’s look at an example.
You’re moving to a new country in six months so you need to learn a foreign language. You don’t want to move, and you don’t like the country because you’ve never been there and are afraid.
You have no choice because you have to take an exam to get a visa. This is purely outcome motivated.
But let’s say you’re learning a language because you love the country and culture and want to travel there and feel like a local. So this scenario would be an internal desire motivating you to achieve your goals.
Which type of motivation is likely to succeed?
You likely already know the answer: internal desire and process-oriented motivation.
When you internally believe that working on this goal will increase your sense of well-being and actually enjoy the process, you’re more likely to stick with it.
If your goal is purely outcome-focused and you don’t want to do it. That’s not the right goal for you. Throw it out. You don’t need it.
So the goals you want to focus on are:
- First, you want to focus on the ones that you love doing and are aligned with your internal values and beliefs.
- Second, you want to focus on the ones where you really value the outcome, like taking care of your health so you live a long, healthy life. You might not love working out, but you’ll find a way because you value longevity.
For more thoughts on sticking with a workout routine, read this article.
10X YOUR LIFE BY FOCUSING ON ONE THING
You already know that trying to do too many things at once isn’t helpful.
But I have a tool that is.
I call it the Motivation Quadrant, which is one of six principles of Life Design I’ll be teaching you in my upcoming, free, live boot camp.
Spaces are limited, so if you want to go, sign up here to grab your seat.
This one principle will allow you to 10x your whole life in all areas!
Focusing on one thing at a time is ten times more efficient than focusing on ten things at a time.
You won’t even have to do more to get those kinds of results in every area of your life: relationships, career, business, anywhere.
You might actually end up doing less to achieve those results, which shows how impactful it is.
I can help you master the Motivation Quadrant and achieve these results and more, so head on over to my boot camp and sign up to learn more about it.
If you struggle with sticking to your goals and plans and trying to do too many things at once, you’re not alone. It can be difficult figuring out how to stay focused on the things that matter to you.
But it can be done.
To stick with one thing and complete it, you need to do the following:
- Self-reflect. Are you trying to carry too many things at once? What can you put down? Why are you trying to do so many things?
- Determine where you’re spending your time.
- Rate each of your life categories to determine how satisfied you are with them.
- Prioritize which category you want to improve by ONE point.
- Figure out what’s motivating that goal — ensure that it’s internally motivated to improve your quality of life.
- Master the principle of the Motivation Quadrant.
And don’t forget to sign up for my FREE Life Design Bootcamp to 10x your life, business, and career here!
Do you have a question, a topic, or a challenge that you would like me to address in future episodes of The Spark Your Life Podcast? It’s easy – simply DM me on Instagram, or submit this 1-question form! I cannot wait to support you on your journey!