Why you should really only do a few things well

few thingsI think we have all probably heard or read the quote, “It is better to do a few things well than many things poorly.” I have fallen victim to this so many times I couldn’t even count them out for you. And, to clarify, I still do a terrible job. But, I guess, as I continue on this journey of adulting, which is hard, I’ve learned how important this lesson is. Ultimately, I wish I had really listened to these words of wisdom earlier on. It is much easier to say yes to an opportunity than to try and get out of it later. What I’ve learned through all of the wrong decisions is how great the “yes’s” feel when they are for the right thing. It becomes so clear that you are supposed to be doing that thing (whatever it is) and you feel excited about it! That feeling is one that I want to have about anything I’m involved in. So, I made a list of the ways I can tell when I am leaning more toward the “many things poorly” side:

  1. When people ask you to do something last minute, 90% of the time you already have something scheduled. (Possibly for every day in the next two weeks.)
  2. When you get home from work, you immediately have other things to attend to from meetings to emails to projects. (These can be volunteer or not!)
  3. You constantly feel like you are letting people down.
  4. You are the walking definition of burning the candle at both ends and this manifests itself in missed deadlines, mismanaged priorities and a to-do list that is miles long.
  5. The people you care about most get the short end of the stick.

If you resonate with even one of these, please please PLEASE consider taking some things off your plate. (I speak from my own experience.) And for all of those people out there who are like me, my warning to you is that once you have limited what is on your plate, don’t think that your free time should be filled with new opportunities. (I’m totally talking to myself here.) Just let the free time be free.

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