What's the one thing?

I’ve been working a lot with this question lately: what’s the one thing I can do that would most improve my life right now?

This question has a bunch of important parts.

It’s only about one thing. It is usually true that there are lots of things you could do that would make your life better at any given moment — often so many that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or confused by them! Focus on just one.

It is a thing that you can do. Because there’s pretty much no such thing as too many reminders that there’s usually something within your control that will help, right? Right.

It focuses on identifying the most important things you can do. It turns out (kind of famously) that in most cases, doing a small number of the most important things will get you a large number of the most important results. It’s kind of genius, because it means that you don’t actually have to do everything perfectly all the time. (Cautionary tale: it’s easy for me to re-stick myself by obsessing about which thing is the very, very, most important. This is a trap. If you can’t decide between two or three things, you have my permission to just pick your favorite.)

It helps us think about right now, but in a way that points us towards the rest of the time. Sometime last year, I noticed that 90% of the time, my answer to this question was “take a nap!” That set me on a months-long project of rearranging my schedule so that I wasn’t so tired all the time, which turns out to have wildly improved my life! I had a similar experience with “get up from my desk”; eventually I noticed I was always saying that and started using a timer to reminder me to take breaks.

I’d love to hear about your answers to this question and how fulfilling them works out for you!

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