What If You Only Did ONE Thing?

I used to be a big fan of a guy called Sam Ovens. He’s the kind of guy where when you google him, the second or third autosuggest is “Sam Ovens scam”.

This means the guy is either really good at what he does, or he really is a scam. And thankfully, due to the internet, social media, and people getting more savvy all the time, the latter scenario is increasingly rare (I think).

Anyway, he’s a good guy, very rich and I used to love watching his YouTube videos as they were generally jam-packed with valuable insights that would really make you think.

Sadly he doesn’t do these videos anymore – at least not on YouTube – as he’s moved onto making software and focusing on that.

I wanted to have a look at the videos he posted years back, and one I enjoyed back in 2019 was this one, which is all about how productivity is bullsh*t.

Or boll*x, as an Irish person might say :)​

I recommend having a watch, but if you’re short on time (you might want to look at that!!?), then the main point is:

You don’t need to get better at managing or optimising your workload or to-do list.

You need to get better at having less stuff to do!

In other words, stop trying to get better at working through a mountain of stuff.

Instead, figure out how to take more stuff off your plate. Focus on doing less with the same amount of time, and getting more out of the time you do have.

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Some people spin their wheels all day, and some ruthlessly prioritise to get more of a return from the stuff they know is most important.

I am somewhere in between, but I know moving more towards the latter is where I want to be!

Now, let’s apply this to the digital publishing business

This question occured to me. What if you worked on only ONE THING for an entire day. Or better still, an entire week?

Even just to try it, and see what happens?

Here’s the thing – I bet you do all or most of these things on a daily basis, or multiple times a week:

I think I know…because I am talking about myself here too!

  • Wake up. Check your Analytics, Twitter or Gmail (or at least your Analytics….I’m right, aren’t I?!)
  • Check email again
  • Check the news and / or Facebook
  • Scroll Twitter again
  • Mess around on ChatGPT for a bit…
  • Spot an interesting tweet or article, spend 10-20 minutes reading and head down a rabbithole for a bit
  • Oh, got a new email
  • Update or start writing a new article
  • Head for a cup of tea
  • Ah, you’re back scrolling Twitter again!
  • Wonder what you’ll have for lunch today.

That’s a huge amount of stuff, and a lot of it is of course enjoyable.

But perhaps it’s not enjoyable all the time and more to the point – what if you just stopped doing it? Even for a day or two?

Michael Phelps job was….”just get in the pool”.

Top-class runners (hey Colm!), just lace up their runners and hit the road / track.

Top tennis players just hit the court.

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Top novelists and writers….get onto their laptop and open up Word.

Not Word, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube (ok, maybe they have ChatGPT open in a second tab – hopefully not).

NOW, what if you just took a day, and did only one of the following things:

  • Opened up WordPress ONLY, or a blank Word doc, and JUST WROTE for 90% of the day.
  • Or spent the day outsourcing and publishing new articles to your site (ONE site!).

You might feel a bit bored.

But, that’s probably a good thing.

And if you do feel bored, either just sit with it or go for more walks during the day. Take longer breaks, if you can.

Longer breaks, but more focus overall. Doing less, but getting more done. (Trippy).

I think I’m going to really try this. If anything, it’ll show how overly connected and distracted I am a lot of the time!

Over to you. What do you think? Will you try this?

Hit reply to let me know. I’d love to hear how it goes! Or even if you just enjoyed the Sam Ovens video.