How To Achieve More By Doing Less.
Updated: Oct 6
I’m at the stables filling a water butt from the hose to soak some hay for Ribbons. While it’s filling I cross over to the feed room to make up a couple of feeds, no big deal. I notice that something has nibbled the corner of a feed bag, at the bottom of a newly delivered pile of horse feed. Quickly I start moving the bags to get to the one at the bottom. In my haste, I fail to notice the second bag on the pile has also split, it falls apart as I grab it and feed spreads all over the place…… S**T !! What a mess!
I find an old empty bag and start clearing up, and then my phone rings and its my dad. So I have to answer, in case , well just in case….. and we get into conversation…
While chatting I glance up and look out of the feed room door to see a rapidly expanding lake spreading across the yard. Damn! The water butt. Gotta go Dad! I rush across the yard and turn off the tap.
I now have a yard of water and hay to sweep away, a feed room floor to clear up and my dad wondering what he said! Not much of an achievement here and I pride myself on my time management skills!
Or at least I did, because I have seen something new. Multi tasking isn’t all its cracked up to be. Finishing something before you start something else makes so much more sense these days, and not just in a practical example above.
I have seen that I multi task in my head too. For example, even when I realised that waiting for the water butt to fill was a better idea, I still stood there with a head full of thinking about how long it was taking, what I could/should be doing, or what I had to do next or Blah! Blah ! Blah !
I’m not knocking Doing, but we can Over-Do Doing. Noticing my multi tasking habits, my tendency to always be busy, rushing around to get things done, was the first step. What really changed things for me was noticing the busy-ness in my head. Even if I wasn’t physically doing much, there was a lot of noise in my head, especially when I had a decision to make or a problem to solve. I would do a lot of thinking, because I thought that was the way to get the job done. When it didn’t, I’d have thinking about that, worrying thoughts about my failure to think of a solution. As Einstein said “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
Waiting for the water butt to fill is a whole new experience now, just one of the many places where I’m able to press pause, maybe see something new and then tell you guys about it!