After listening to this ridiculously amazing podcast in which Greg McKeown is interviewed by Allie Casazza, I just have to share ONE thing VERY IMPORTANT thing that I learned.
McKeown’s book Essentialism is subtitled “The disciplined pursuit of less.” Of course, if you haven’t noticed already, I’m a touch obsessed with “less” and in more recent times, my conviction to become a better steward of my time has become more and more prevalent.
In the interview, to illustrate one of his most important points, McKeown asks Allie to identify one important task that she has to accomplish in her life. After pushing her to tell him WHY the task is so important (a super crucial component of the exercise), he then asks her how long she thinks the task will take to complete start to finish, to which she responds, “Two hours.”
Describing a continuum of “important” (or essential) things in our lives, with the most important being at one end of the continuum and the least important being at the other end, he then asked her about something that was a part of her life that wasn’t maybe as important (so somewhere much lower on the continuum), to which she replied “text messaging.”
Granted, the interviewer does have a business, and utilized text messaging a great deal to do what she needs to do. BUT, for the sake of the experiment, the POINT is illustrated clearly as he invites her to go into the “Settings” application on her phone, then “Battery,” then “Last 7 Days,” then click on the little clock. The amount of time “on screen” and in the “background” is then identified under each app. The interviewer discovered that she had spent more than five hours text messaging in the previous seven days. Of course, she was shocked, but also delighted to find an area in which she could reduce something NON-ESSENTIAL in her life in order to accomplish something ESSENTIAL … essentially, she had found the two hours she needed to complete that very important task she had identified.
Undoubtedly, we all find ourselves stretched too thin at times or we struggle to find the time to complete an important task, BUT we all have the same 24 hours, and if something is TRULY important, we MUST make time for it … the time is already there, we just need to “let go” of non-essentials to make room for essentials. I strongly encourage and invite you to check your phone usage yourself … seeing where your precious minutes and hours are going is so, so valuable.
And, of course, give the podcast a listen yourself (here’s the link again) … there’s SO MUCH MORE than what I described here (including a discussion of tearing up a $100 bill) … I promised I would share only ONE important lesson though.