Make An Impact – Do Things That Matter
Do you feel like you’re treading water – always doing things, always busy, but never getting anything of true value done? If you’re starting to stagnate, a period where the quality of everything you’re doing suffers and you’re starting to feel a bit down on life, what you’re missing is impact. We live in a culture that equates business with value. If you’re busy doing something, or if you work insanely long hours, then you must be doing something right; conversely, if you only work 20 hours per week, you’re “lazy” and aren’t working hard enough to do your part in the economy. Neither is true. As has been harped on so many times – you don’t need more hours, you need smarter hours. For those of you who are familiar with Pareto’s principle – 20% of your efforts bring 80% of your returns – you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. However, I want to expand this concept of doing things with an impact – doing the “essential” – to encompass our entire lives; doing everything with impact, clarity, and purpose, rather than doing things that are ineffective and are absolutely useless in the grand scheme of things. We can break this concept of having impact and doing things that matter into two different parts: doing things on purpose and doing things with a purpose.
Doing Things On PurposeHow many of these things do you do per day?
- Check facebook/twitter/your social network du jour every 5-10 minutes, even though you know nothing has changed?
- Check your bank balance repeatedly?
- Look at website data to get the latest on your hits, subscriber count, or comments?
- Check your email or phone for messages from other people?
- It frees you up from distractions. When you’re doing everything on purpose, you’re not being distracted by the tweets and texts that you’re receiving. What would happen if you did check your phone? You would lose some productivity because you would lose the time it takes to check your phone (and whatever you do if you get distracted when you’re checking it) and your brain will have to switch from creation-mode to consumption-mode, back to creation-mode, which causes the quality of your work to dip.
- You’ll be giving your full efforts, in the moment, to your work (or whatever it is that you’re doing!). The main consequence of this is that your work will be better, since you’ll be in that flow state of glory that we all know and love. However, an overlooked side effect is that when you’re in the moment, you are enjoying your work. Enjoyment of the work will result in more emotion being channeled through your work – which will leave much more of an impact.