Just One More Thing
“Are your ready?” “I’m almost done, just one more thing.” I turned only to be greeted by her skeptical expression. Which, considering the circumstances, was more than fair.
I had been saying I was almost done for maybe 20 – 30 mins. She narrowed her eyes slightly and asked, ”How much longer is one more thing going to take?” I knew she had me. Game, Set, Match. So, I closed my computer and we left.
Yes I Lost, Can We Move On
This post isn’t about me losing a struggle with my girlfriend. That happens all the time. No this post is about letting go, or rather not letting go.
We all do this. We want to read one more chapter before bed, we want to play one more level of the game, we want to watch just one more episode of Battlestar before we clean out the garage.
The space between action and infinite inaction is now and will always be just one more thing.
One more thing is what keeps us stuck in our old ways.
One more thing is what keeps us eating a whole bag of chips when all we wanted was a snack.
One more thing is what keeps us at work instead of spending time with our families and friends.
One more thing is what keeps us from making time to exercise.
One more thing is what keeps us from living our lives and from being who we could be.
Why do we do this?
I’ve struggled with this problem my whole life. It’s one of the biggest reasons why I’m late. It’s also one of biggest reasons I look back at my day and ask, “What the hell did I spend it on?”
one more thing is so attractive to me because I feel like the pay off is so close. Like a gambler waiting for his number to hit, I imagine if I do just one more task then I will feel done. And when I feel done, I can stop.
Which made me wonder, why do I want to feel done? The world is filled with infinite wondrous things. Why would I ever want to feel done? But then I realized what comes before done.
Before done is this slow pressing feeling on my chest. This fear that I will never be done. That the subtle or not so subtle stress on my system will erode my mind and body so relentlessly that I will wake up twenty years from now a shell of who I once was.
So I walk from this fear, I run from this fear, and I work from this fear. I must stay one step ahead and the only way to do that is by doing one more thing.
Well I done with it. I’m done with doing one more thing. Instead, I’m going to do what I’m doing now and then I’m going to stop and decide what to do next. I may do another thing, but only after I’ve checked in and seen if it’s alive for me.
And here’s how I’m going to do it.
1. Take Breaks -
I have an ap on my computer called Time Out. It encourages me to take a 20 second breaks every 25 mins. And a 5 min break every 50 mins. This week I’m not going to skip those breaks to do one more thing. I’m going to take them when they happen.
When I take breaks, I have time to stop and see what I’m doing. It also encourages me to go outside and breathe fresh air. Technology is cool and but fresh air is the original productivity ap.
2. Walk or Run -
one more thing often carries me from 9am – 9pm without stop. But this pace wears on me until I feel burnt out. I know that if I break up my day I have more energy and focus.
This week I’m going to take at least 10 mins in the middle of the day to get some exercise. It doesn’t have to be epic. Just a few mins of movement to make my brain and body happy.
3. To Do It -
This week when something pops in my head. I’m going to put it in my to do list first. If it is the most important thing then I might do it, but nothing gets done without going in the list.
When I don’t look at what else I want to do, it’s easy to think that one more thing is the most important. But when I consider all that I want to accomplish I can make a wiser choice.
4. Eat the Frog -
I often leave the hardest task ’til the end of the day. There is always one more thing to do before it. But by then, I’m tired and less motivated.
So this week I’m going to look at my to do list and do the one I least want to do first. In addition, I’m going to do one of my new habits in the morning so I don’t stay up late to get it done.
5. Set a Time Limit -
because I have a lot to do, there is never a good stopping point. There is always one more thing I should do before I leave.
This week when I decide I need to go, I’m going to set a time limit. And then I’m going to set an alarm. When the alarm goes off, I’m going to leave. Instead of delaying, I’m going to embrace the practice of stopping on a dime and letting go.
6. Get To Bed -
One of the worst time for me to one more thing it, is at night. On Sunday night for example I one more thinged it ‘til 2am. It never seems like a big deal, but losing sleep eats into my day and drains my energy.
So this week, I’m not going to one more thing it before bed. I’m going to stop working by 11:30 and be in bed by midnight. I’m going to go to decrease that by 15 mins each day. And most importantly I’m going to get to bed at a decent hour on the weekends when staying up is so tempting.
This is my vow to you. I will fight against one more thing this week and I would love it if you joined me. One week from now, I’ll let you know how it goes and I hope you will do the same.
Our lives are too short to be caught up in an agenda of momentum. Instead it’s so important we give ourselves the space to take a step back, stop doing one more thing, and start doing the right thing instead.
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