2/09/2015

If You’re Not 90% Sure about Something, Don't Bother


Your calendar is virtually airtight, and your to-do list is filled to the brim. Yet, there it is: a new passion project/a new intriguing industry event/an alluring committee invitation — something you know that you simply don’t have the capacity for. But, you’re going to take it on anyways. Why? Because FOMO.

FOMO (the fear of missing out) can compel people to
 make potentially unrealistic, and thus harmful, choices. Stretching yourself too thin can lead to anxiety, lost productivity, and ultimately burnout. It also robs you of the headspace you need for bigger thoughts about long-term projects. Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, advises measuring your certainty before starting something new: 

“If you’re not 90 percent sure of doing something, just don’t bother. Don’t worry about it.”

Evaluating how realistic something is forces hard choices when it comes to selecting your priorities. This question will likely result in you turning down multiple things, but also saying ‘yes’ to only the things that you’re really, truly passionate about. And if you end up a little bored as a result, that’s perfectly fine, because “at the edge of boredom is all creativity,” said McKeown.

“It’s about being so selective that you have the space to do the things that are absolutely fabulous, that are amazing, that are break-through experiences.”...more