The last few weeks I’ve been struggling to make my priorities clear. I’ve had lots of random things hitting my inbox and my attempts to handle those tasks, plus the ones that were already on my plate, made my head spin. I didn’t manage to prioritise and it made it very difficult for me to get things done.
This naturally led to me feeling quite frustrated, and even when I was away from my desk I ended up feeling agitated. That’s when I knew I had to change my approach to get back in control. I reviewed all my to-dos and tried to get clear on them. I realised that my problem wasn’t putting them in order of priority, but actually deciding whether I should do them at all.
As I searched the web for answers and sought for something to help me find my way, I came across this one very powerful question:
Will it make the boat go faster?
This question is what British Olympic rower Ben Hunt-Davis asked of his rowing team when they were deciding what kind of training, tactics and strategies to use to improve their performance. And it worked. They won gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
This question is exactly what I needed to hear. This question is exactly what stopped me on my tracks and got me to rethink my massive to-do list. I looked at it again, and addressed each of the tasks on my list with this new question:
Will this get me to where I want to get to quicker?
Initially, my mind still tried to fight it.
I tried to get out of it by saying, “But I’m not 100% sure of whether this will make the boat go quicker.” Really? I don’t think so. I knew in my heart what the right things were to do and I knew I had to get strict with myself to make that happen. That meant doing a major clearout. I cut anything off my list that I wasn’t sure was going to make me get to my vision faster, and I simply focused on the tasks I knew had delivered strong results before.
The other procrastination question that tried me to lure to not prioritise was, “But it’s not about getting somewhere as fast as possible but about enjoying the journey too.” And that is so true. But focusing your efforts on the things that make shit happen fast doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the journey whilst you’re doing them.
So, just like that, with that one simple question, I was able to half my to-do list and get my focus back. I learned to prioritise the most effective things on my list and I was reminded that you can enjoy the boat ride doing those things.
If you want to take it a step further and enjoy your boat ride even more, I invite you to join a free online event full of inspiration on living your best life yet. Sign-up to Rock Your Midlife Crisis here for free and watch over 20 inspirational interviews on how to live a happy, fulfilling life. One of those interviews is mine ;)
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With that, I wish you good luck in your adventures and until next time!
With love, light & happiness,
P.S. You can grab a copy of the book Will It Make The Boat Go Faster if you want to dive deeper into how to prioritise with this philosophy.