One-thing that helps me beat overwhelm

As I sit down to plan, a number of tasks jump out and claim themselves a priority. As a solopreneur, you are a one-person show and it's kind of a norm. And most of the time I enjoy the diversity of roles. Still, having a list of 17 priorities also brings in the dread both to my mind and my body. Where do I even start?

In comes the one main thing that helps me. That’s my solution — choosing the one-main-thing.

Why does it work?

It gets me to start

Choosing the one-main-thing moves me from a world of ideas to a decision. Once I’ve prioritized, I know where to start. I work with it on a macro and micro level. For instance, I will commit to one main thing for the week and one main thing for the day.

I create depth in my progress

I used to have 5-6 to-do tasks, but over time I noticed that I would feel all over the place. When I started to focus, I could see growth and over time it got easier, I got faster and more knowledgeable in the chosen area.

I still get lured to add tasks to my list. Or I get ideas that tickle my curiosity. I add those to my ‘ideas’ list and continue working. Then I revisit them, but only after one main thing is finalized. That way I know I am progressing and keeping myself open.

Am I (doing) enough?

Yes! That’s another major benefit of this approach. It brings the feeling of accomplishment. If I slip into multitasking, by the end of the day I am haunted by the feeling of is-this-enough. And, unfortunately, sometimes even am-I-enough! But now instead, I feel satisfied. It doesn’t mean that the result is perfect, but I am certain that I chose my work in a mindful way.

Wrap up

Defining one main thing helps me go from overwhelm to lets-do-this! It is a very simple approach and makes me feel accomplished at the end of every day. As with most things in life, I am not dead strict with it, but this approach has helped me prioritize and be mindful about how I work.


What is your productivity tip?

P.S. At Playground we use one-main-thing to support you with (weekly) consistency in whatever you are working on. Is it for you? Check here >