If it isn't a "HELL YEAH!" it's a "no."
The other day I saw a guy order a double shot of espresso – that's two ounces of coffee – to go.
Everyone I know feels busy, rushed, frantic and overwhelmed, myself included. It can’t just be a product of “busy” being the new status symbol for Americans (although I’m sure that doesn’t help). It seems like my life, left to its own devices, spirals into frenzied chaos before I know it. In an effort to explore how I can prevent that from happening, I read Essentialism by Greg Mckeown.
Mckeown makes the case for focusing on what is truly essential as a way to fight against living a busy, yet unsatisfying life. One of his main ideas is to focus on doing less, but doing it better.
One technique Mckeown recommends is using extreme criteria to decide what we should invest our time and energy in. The principle he challenges readers to apply is to give every opportunity a score of 1 to 100. Then, if anything scores below a 90 … throw it out. When we assign numerical value to our options, he says, we’re forced to make decisions by design rather than by default. To approach our choices “consciously, logically, and rationally, rather than impulsively or emotionally” (105).
Another way to apply his approach to decision making is to ask if something is a “HELL YEAH!” If it isn’t, it should be a “no.”
I decided to look at my time and my life through this more discriminating lens. Turns out, I have roughly 4 waking hours a day when I am not taking care of tiny people. In that amount of time I have been trying to shower, get in the Word, clean my house, design an agenda, paint every day, work on house projects, start a blog, read fiction, read nonfiction, watch Netflix, design a board game, lead a reading group, hang out with Joseph, hang out with other people, do Myers-Briggs consulting … and the list goes on. No wonder I’ve been feeling constantly frustrated.
I’ve been trying to cram a hippo into hamster ball.
I’ve been blaming my frustration on my lack of time, when the problem is actually a lack of extreme criteria when choosing what I should be doing with the time have. I keep thinking, “Well if I would just wake up an hour earlier, then I could get it all done.” Or, “I’ll be on top of it when Max starts napping better.” The truth is, my to-do list is like a goldfish that will just keep growing to fill whatever container it’s in.
I have to be the one to curate what fills my time and set boundaries for myself on what I try to do.
So from now on I am going to do my best to get rid of the"I guess I cans” and the “I probably shoulds;” so I can embrace my “HELL YEAHs!” I'll let you know how it goes!