Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What's the ONE Thing?

I ended May in a hotel basement in Austin, Texas.

Why some of my most significant life-moments have happened in a hotel basement, I don't know, but I think I should hang out there more often.

I ended up there because my mom said, "Hey, have you heard about The ONE Thing? It's a book in which the author abolishes the idea of multitasking as a LIE and he'll be speaking about it next week in Austin."

Um, nobody puts multitasking in a corner, so I went. Mainly because I wanted to see WHO WOULD UTTER SUCH BLASPHEMY and also because I wanted someone to tell me what I should do with my ONE Thing.

(My ONE Thing = VoiceBox Media, in case you didn't know.)

To catch you up, here's what I've been doing with my One Thing, etc. in the last seven months:

Started it in November
Quit my full time job in February
Went to Kenya the very next day
Had to abandon my house because of SKUNKS
Went to Houston and Dallas (in the same weekend)
Went to Kentucky
Birthed a litter of puppies
Got an awesome part-time job
Adjusted my lifestyle to accommodate a part-time salary
Went to Haiti
Went to Florida
Started the part-time job
Raised the puppies
Sold the puppies
Went to St. Louis to get my dog from training school
Started contract work
Finished contract work

Got really overwhelmed.

(Thank the Lord (really!) for my friends, my life coach and my therapist)

So when I entered the hotel basement, I wanted to leave with focus. And debunk the "multitasking is a lie" statement.

I left with focus. And the realization that multitasking is detracting from my focus, which my ONE Thing needs. But more on that later.

The author of The ONE Thing asks a great question:

"What is the one thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?"

Instantly, my mind starts freaking out:


The answer came to me while I was vacuuming.

See, I do what a lot of my friends do. I get into the "starting over" mentality. The thoughts that go like this: "I really need to start (blank)..." "If only I could start (blank)...." But my philosophy is that we're not always starting (a new diet, a better spiritual relationship, an exercise regimen), we're continuing a journey. Every day we are on a diet - it just changes based on our choices. Same with our spiritual relationship, exercise regimen, our cleaning routine, etc.

So I gave myself the same advice. Instead of obsessing with, "What can I START doing that will make everything else easier or unnecessary," I took a look-see into the habits I've established in my life where I'm already doing those things.

Here's what I came up with:

Example #1: Freezer cooking
I started this one thing awhile ago as part of my health journey and when I had a full-time job. This habit saves me from asking the "what am I going to eat for lunch/dinner" question that when you really enjoy food as much as I do, you ask yourself shortly after breakfast. Plus it's a big time saver for me, and I'm a big fan of efficiency.

Example #2: My new vacuum (don't laugh)
If you've been following me on Facebook, you KNOW how obsessed I am with my new vacuum. I even demonstrated it to a friend who came over to watch a movie. (I can only use so many words to explain its headlights - you just GOTTA SEE THEM). So how does this one thing make everything else easier and unnecessary? Well, it saves me time, because it now takes me 15 minutes to vacuum the WHOLE house instead of 30-45 minutes to sweep. Plus it's so much fun that I use vacuuming as an incentive for myself. (see? The one things don't have to be HUGE)

Example #3: I walk Tuck every morning first thing
Tuck is my 2-year old German shepherd who, without a walk first thing in the morning, will literally go crazy. So starting our day with a 30-40 minute walk and a 10-15 minute training session sets our day up for awesomeness, because he crashes for a couple hours and I'm able to work in peace for that time. Plus I get the exercise, I get to clear my head, be in nature, the sun, pray, meditate and enjoy his company. So many birds killed with one stone. Love it.

Example #4: Budget. Every paycheck. Before I get paid.
I started telling my money where to go, and I put it there. Empowering! I don't stress anymore about my money "disappearing" and I don't stress about paying bills, because over time I've built up the courage to face that fear. (Money scares the shit out of me, FYI) And over time, my savings account has expanded and I'm in control.

This question can apply to every area of my life: Spiritual, physical health, personal life, key relationships, my job, my business, my finances.

I'm doing it with my ONE Thing. How? I have a should-do list and I check off the one-small-step(s) as they are completed. And I focus on my One Thing by blocking off (mostly) uninterrupted time to devote to it.

Sometimes it's really that simple.

And sometimes I need to hear it again and again.

In a hotel basement.

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