As a multi-talented person, I have had my share of the temptation to do many things, especially at the same time. Spreading myself so thin in the face of amassing responsibilities is one of the features of multi-talented jack of all trades. Even having the cause to question if my multiplicity of skills and capacity was a blessing or a curse.
I was studying for my Engineering degree, volunteering at 3 NGOs, organizing my seminar series, was a church executive, running a real estate business then a retail business, actively involved in campus politics and still had to keep my relationship with people going while making new friends.
I was consumed in the unfortunately untrue brief that ‘the more activities you are involved with, the better you get.’ Now I know better and I can say ‘it is achievements not activities that matter.’
Like I tell fellow mutli-talented people, when you try to match everything, you match nothing. Virtue lies in not being a wandering generalist but a meaningful specific. So what should you do?
- Carry out an audit of everything that has your time and commitment. Most times, what some activities and people need is support from us not commitment. Mistaking need for support with need for commitment will lead to an entanglement in a web of commitments.
- Determine which few activities are the most important. Brian Tracy puts them as ‘those activities that will have the most significant effect on your career and aspirations. Highlight them and shut every other thing out.
- Learn to say no. If time must be created for the little things that matter, the things that we should do better, we must be willing and able to say ‘No’ to many other things. The non-essentials that come in the guise of urgent and important activities must be nipped in the bud with a ready ‘No!’ answer.
Finally remember that vision is not only fixing your gaze on one thing, it is also rejecting all other good options along the way. You Don’t have to do everything, do less and do them better!