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  • Writer's pictureArchuleta A. Chisolm

Choosing To Work Smarter

It’s Monday. Oftentimes that panic will start to sit in as soon as you open your eyes – “How will I get everything done?” and then “I’ve got to go all in ASAP.” Next thing you know, you are running a marathon trying to do as much as you possibly can while navigating all the unplanned stuff that pops up.

I used to feel this way but finally realized that it was the root cause of my stress and anxiety. It was not the way I wanted to start the week.

The bestselling book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown talks about the people who try to do it all, all the time. He says, “Many capable people are kept from getting to the next level because they can’t let go of the belief that everything is important.” McKeown also writes, “But an Essentialist has learned to tell the difference between what is truly important and everything else.”

A simple way of looking at it is:

Nonessentialist: Asks, “How can I do it all?”

Essentialist: Asks, “What can I go big on?”

This simple shift in thinking has changed how I approach Mondays. It brings me less stress, and I feel more accomplished by the end of the week. It’s not about getting more things done; it’s about getting the right things done.

I also realized that some of my efforts produced more results than others. For example, on Mondays I like to treat myself to Starbucks. I live about a quarter-mile away, so instead of driving I will walk. This allows me to put my phone away, and enjoy much needed exercise.

Once I get to Starbucks, I can get a read a few chapters of a book or work on a blog post, while I enjoy my drink. Trade-offs can represent a significant opportunity. Just by choosing the walk over driving, it allows me to get more accomplished without feeling overwhelmed.

So, today I challenge you to make choices about how you spend your energy. You can’t do everything. But you can choose what you will do wisely. Drop me a line a let me know how it goes!

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