For us Busyaholics, Constraint is a Four Letter Word
If you're anything like I used to be, you won't like the sound of the word constraint. I'm gonna change your mind!
Every Thursday morning I go to my podcast feed looking forward to the next bit of wisdom I’m going to receive from one of my favorite coaches. Several months ago, I opened my feed to a podcast called “constraint”. And I closed my app and didn’t listen. I was turned off by the idea of constraint. It felt controlling, like I couldn’t have all I want and sounded like a business buzz word. I did end up listening later, but I wasn’t excited to do it. What I learned is, in reality, without constraint we spend our lives buried in busyness.
Merriam-webster defines constraint as “something that limits or restricts someone or something”. You can see where bringing the idea of constraint would have a busyaholic feeling stressed. First we don’t have TIME to apply constraint, second we don’t want to or “can’t”. Everything we’re doing is necessary and critical.
No, everything we’re doing is CREATING the stress, burnout and dissatisfaction we’re experiencing in our lives. And believe it or not, restricting yourself can be liberating.
In the context of getting things done in our life, constraint means prioritizing. Which sounds simple, and most of us can put our top 10 “to-do’s” in order of importance. The challenge comes in when we have to adhere to the priorities as we’ve defined them. This means while we’re working on our top 2-3 items, items 4-10 receive minimal focus from us. And for busyaholics that’s very difficult. We believe we can’t afford to put any of the things on our list “on hold”, that it will impact our success. Everything we have to get done is urgent. Author Tim Ferriss reminds us ““To enjoy life, you don't need fancy nonsense, but you do need to control your time and realize that most things just aren't as serious as you make them out to be.”
Say No to Yourself, I Dare You
It’s hard to consciously say “no” to yourself, but that is what I’m asking you to do. To be willing to put some goals on hold for the sake of creating the life you really want from a place of more peace and fun. Being willing to delay some goals, even though you want them now.
If we look honestly we’ll see that holding everything at the same priority level and expecting 100% of our focus and energy to go into all of our priorities literally isn’t possible. And it comes at a cost of scattering our attention and putting us into overload. This isn’t the place we want to be accomplishing our precious goals from.
It's Your Life We're Talking about Here!
Your time is precious. Your life is precious. It’s worth taking 1 hour a week to sit with yourself, connect to what really matters to you in your life, and prioritize your actions for the week ahead. To lead your week, instead of being led by it. This one step is important on the journey to breaking out of busyness.
Constraint gives you freedom and leadership over your life.
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