Prosperity from Self Imposed Limitations


Closed Swiss Army KnifeToday you can do whatever you want. You can create anything, go anywhere, and entertain yourself in a myriad of ways. We live in a time of  limitless opportunities and enjoy unfettered access to information, people, and products. Society evaluates an individual by their employment of things. However, the key to construction is not more tools. Self imposed limitations bring about prosperity in one's work. Purpose emerges in simplicity and single mindedness begets focus. Today you can do whatever you want, but you may do more with less.

The key to construction is not more tools.

We make generous investments to shorten the span of our attention. Television, social networks, and popular music have reduced our capacity to commit to one thing for very long. But there is a way to overcome distractions and focus your work: put down the Swiss Army Knife and pick up a blade. I have an arsenal of tablets, computers, and smart phones to perform my weekly tasks of calling, writing, meeting, and teaching. But my time is most prosperous when I select one tool and forget the rest. It doesn't make sense to write a lesson on paper, laptop, tablet and whiteboard. Shifting my attention between mediums offers a clearly diminished return. But does it make sense to write a lesson while using Word, Facebook, YouTube and Outlook? No, it does not, there is power in doing one thing.

There is power in doing one thing.

Chose the tool that best fits your task and forsake other mechanics. Impose limitations on your work environment: use fewer things. I have found this to be an essential characteristic for my personal work and think that will find the same. Ask yourself this: What task are you performing? What tool best fits your task? What other tool is distracting you right now? Go ahead, close this tab and get to work.

Brent ColbyComment