The Next Thing

The Next Thing

One of my favorite books is The One Thing in which the authors describe the concept of time blocking of up to 4 hours to focus on the most important task each day. Their philosophy is that the person who chases two rabbits will catch none. Their proposition is an extreme version of 80/20 rule (which says that 80% of the output comes from 20% of the sources).

The enemy of The One Thing is The Next Thing. What is the next thing we need to do. I remind myself several times during a day to stop caring about the next thing but it seems that the operating system of at least the modern human comes with The Next Thing app already installed by the factory.

Where do I need to go next when I leave this place. What will I be doing when I finish the present task. Even what I will be eating next after the current bite. When I’m spending time with my family in the evening, the tasks I need to complete before sleeping is never away from my mind. On the other hand, the children enjoy so much because they do not have any future plans or a list of tasks to perform and just live in the present moment.

The next thing creates hurry and opposes calmness. In this context, we can say that the two rules of extreme productivity (The One Thing) and extreme tranquillity (The Power of Now) merge together and can be seen as the special cases of a general formula that caters for human productivity and happiness. Who knows the same formula might be applicable to some other areas of our life too.

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