Don’t listen to these four dangerous words: I’m not doing enough.
Somedays I feel like I’m not doing enough to be a better writer.
Other days I feel like I’m not doing enough to chase my dream, to seek out more opportunities, or to love my family.
I’m not doing enough.
When uttered, those four words throw me into an unproductive tailspin for days on end. I still write. I still chase my dream. I still love my family. But the sense that I’m not doing enough lurks in the background.
I still write. I still chase my dream. I still love my family. But the sense that I’m not doing enough lurks in the background.
I can’t seem to shake the feeling.
Those four words are dangerous, that’s why I don’t say them anymore.
What is Enough?
We tend to believe we aren’t doing enough to reach our goals because we compare our progress to other people trying to achieve similar goals.
The problem comes because we take our focus away from the action we need to take and place it on the action we think we need to take.
We end up sabotaging our own personal journies by gauging our enough against other people’s journey.
Do you see the problem here?
No two people ever achieved the same goal by performing the same exact steps.
When I see other bloggers pumping out content 24/7, I feel like I’m not doing enough. But then I ask myself, Do they have a full-time job they have to commit to? Do they have a beautiful wife they want to spend time with? Or an adorable baby boy who needs love and attention?
I can’t follow their path, so why worry?
The same should apply to your life. When you see friends, family, or coworkers who seem to have everything together, don’t fall for the fallacy that you are worse off.
Don’t jeopardize your progress with envy.
My Simple Solution: Just Do Something
You know what I do when I feel those four dangerous words creeping up? I…
It works every time.
When you feel like you’re falling behind on a project, just do something.
When you haven’t spent quality time with your family, just do something.
When you’re finished reading a motivational blog post like this one, just do something.
This motto doesn’t say how much to do, when to do it, or how to do it, it’s much simpler than that.
By doing something you redirect your attention away from the enough and toward the action. I don’t know about you, but I always feel better taking action than complaining.
Don’t worry if it’s enough, even if you do one thing a day, progress is progress.
Replace enough with action.
Don’t Fall for the Busy Trap
There is, however, an alternate problem when we feel like we aren’t doing enough–busyness.
When we feel like we are falling behind, we overcompensate by staying busy with meaningless tasks. This often leads to:
- Sloppy work
- Lack of rest
- People close to you suffering
- Not respecting your limitations
- Crashing and burning
Why? Because we like to equate busy with productive.
Some weeks I struggle to write a blog post, but in order to “feel” productive, I waste time checking email, reading articles on Facebook, checking Twitter, re-checking email, etc.
None of those activities equate to words on a page (sometimes they spark inspiration, but rarely).
In recent weeks, when it’s time to write, I put my phone away and limit myself to one blank Evernote page on the screen and just start writing.
I don’t try to stay busy. I focus on the actions at hand and not worry if they are enough.
Seek Flow in Your Journey
To conclude, enough doesn’t exist. There only exists two boundaries: Nothing and Busy.
Finding the right flow to navigate between the two is key.
Attaining flow allows you to get comfortable with the natural patterns that occur as you work. There are times of significant output followed by times of rest and reevaluation.
You’re a human, not a robot. Find the flow that works best for you and ride the current.
Focus on action and follow up your actions with more action. Only then do you build positive momentum.
Only then do you reach your goals.