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Adopting a "one less" mindset

Like many people who struggle with bad habits, I’ve developed a “one more” mindset over the years.

Without even thinking twice, I’ll have “one more” drink, stay out “one more” hour, or try to squeeze in “one more” task while I’m working.

What’s the harm in this?

Like most things, it wouldn’t be that bad if it was just once in a while.

Unfortunately, it isn’t just once. These moments of “one more” compound on each other and end up biting me in the ass. One more drink + one more hour out with friends = one less productive morning.

Instead, what would things look like if I focused on developing a “one less” mindset?

I would probably feel a little better if I had one less drink, I wouldn’t be as grumpy if I spent one less hour out, and I definitely wouldn’t be as stressed out if I took on one less obligation - I would have way more mental bandwidth for the things that matter most to me.

The question is: how does someone adopt this “one less” mindset when they’ve built up a series of unhealthy habits that make it easier to say, “I’ll have one more…”?

I’m not exactly sure yet, but this is a question that deserves at least one more minute of my time.

Persistence is underrated

I've been writing (almost) every day for three years and I'm nowhere close to stopping.

In fact, writing has become such an important part of my daily routine that I feel a little lost when I don't make time for it.

It helps me work through things when I'm stressed out, it allows me to share my thoughts with others, and, most importantly, it gives me a way to practice discipline (something I severely lack).

I honestly believe that if you do something long enough and share it with others, it will eventually lead to bigger opportunities.

Hell, if you ask me, simply becoming a better writer is worth it.

You're probably doing too much

When it comes to creative professionals, we all have two things in common:

1. We all want to master everything we try, and
2. We all have ADD

All you have to do is look around on LinkedIn and you'll see profiles that are so long and disjointed, they look like Apple's Terms and Conditions.

So, how exactly do we fight this lack of focus?

We make sure our short-term actions align with our long-term goals.

One way to double-check yourself is to zoom out and take a high-level look by jotting down everything you're doing (I like doing so visually while using a whiteboard). Once you have everything in front of you, it's easier to make connections and trim the fat when things don't align.

I try and do this roughly every few months. 

When I don't, this usually when my stress gets the best of me and I experience one of my typical existential crises.

At the end of day, discipline is the most important skill any of us can have, Unfortunately, it's also the hardest to practice.