Judge Your Progress By What You’re Doing Less Of, Not More

by Robin Sacks

· Success Habits,Productivity Tips,Behavior Change,Focus,Perspective
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Here’s a counterintuitive thought for you — instead of judging your progress by what you now do, judge it by what you no longer do.

Success is about doing less, better.

The common thinking is that, in order to get better, you need to do more things than you don’t currently do. Sometimes that means creating new habits on top of the ones you already have, getting additional education, or adding more things to your plate so you can feel or be seen as more “busy” or productive.

But that doesn’t jibe, because success is about doing less, better.

Successful people will tell you that they now say “no” to things they used to say “yes” to. Saying no to things is the first step on the path to success. That doesn’t mean you don’t say yes to some things; of course you say yes to some things. But, you are quite intentional and deliberate about what you now say yes to, and you still say no to more things than ever before.

Saying yes to things can mean you have new and more experiences, but it also means you have less time, less energy, and less focus. If we all have a certain amount of time and energy to spend, and you are not careful about what you’re saying yes to, you may end up wasting much of that time and energy on things that either don’t get you any closer to your goals or actually push you farther away from them!

Take an inventory of your yes’s and no’s. Take a look at your autopilot habits. What needs to go? Remember, in order to say yes to things that matter, you have to say no to things that don’t. Get comfortable saying no more often more often.

Success is about doing less, better.

But saying “no” is sometimes easier said than done. Here are three ways to get more comfortable at it.

First, understand that “no” is a complete sentence. Just start to get really comfortable saying it. Start small with insignificant things and work your way up to bigger things. The more you use it, the more it will roll off your tongue.

Second, stop using the word “try.” We use that word when we want to say no, but are uncomfortable saying it. As Yoda was quick to point out, “Do or do not, there is no try.”

Third, make it about them. If I want to say no, but find it uncomfortable to just say it, explain that you do not have the ability/time/money to do it right now, and do not want to commit to something that you can not do justice to…so, you won’t. Why? Because you wouldn’t do that to them. Maybe you can even offer to help them identify someone who could do that thing now, because you can’t. Your character doesn’t allow you to half-ass something, so you say no.

Success is about doing less, better.

Begin to look at success from the stand point of getting rid of the things that do not serve you instead of from the thinking that you need to add or accomplish more.

P.S. What would you do if you were more confident? Check out my 16 week course, Owning Your Confidence, to learn how to shift your self-talk, body language, and mental-game so you can have less stress and more confidence.