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Focus. When Your Plate is Too Full. By Leo Babauta Do you sometimes (or always) feel like you have too much to do and too little time to do it?

When Your Plate is Too Full

Consider an email I got from a student the other day: “… as the semester goes by, the harder it is to keep up with school. The thing is, I know I’d be able to do it if I didn’t have any extracurricular activities. I have a weekend job where I teach youths, a youth group where I currently lead social justice, and I was just asked by someone to lead prayer group. “Right now, the only way to do everything is to sleep less and work more, but I noticed that I can’t do much when I haven’t gotten much sleep. I know this feeling, because that’s how I felt before I started simplifying my life. To this student, and to everyone else who feels this way, I’d say this: your plate is too full. The only answer, unless you want your health to decline (and that’s not good for anyone), is to start saying No. The Whys of Saying No We stay in this state because we really want to do it all. The Empty Container. Too Much to Do, Not Enough Time.

By Leo Babauta One of the biggest frustrations many of us feel is having too much to do, and not feeling like we have enough time to do it.

Too Much to Do, Not Enough Time

We are overwhelmed. Of course, having “not enough time” is just a feeling — we all have the same amount of time, but we often fill up the container of our days with too much stuff. The problem is having too much stuff to fit into a small container (24 hours). If we look at task management and time management as simply a container organization problem, it becomes simpler.

How do we fit all of the stuff we have to do into our small container? By simplifying. And letting go. I promise, with this two-step process, you’ll be able to deal with the problem of “too much to do, not enough time.” Simplifying Our Tasks When we realize we’re trying to fit too much stuff (tasks, errands, obligations) into a small container (24 hours), it becomes obvious that we can’t get a bigger container … so we have to get rid of some stuff. The Ivy Lee Method: The Daily Routine Experts Recommend for Peak Productivity. By 1918, Charles M.

The Ivy Lee Method: The Daily Routine Experts Recommend for Peak Productivity

Schwab was one of the richest men in the world. Schwab was the president of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, the largest shipbuilder and the second-largest steel producer in America at the time. The famous inventor Thomas Edison once referred to Schwab as the “master hustler.” A Brief Guide to Overcoming Instant Gratification. By Leo Babauta It’s no secret that we live in the Age of Instant gratification.

A Brief Guide to Overcoming Instant Gratification

That’s not news. But Paul Roberts has written an excellent essay at The American Scholar looking at the breadth of this phenomena on our society — it’s a must read. A sample quote from Roberts’ essay: ‘The notion of future consequences, so essential to our development as functional citizens, as adults, is relegated to the background, inviting us to remain in a state of permanent childhood.’ And while he concludes that we need to change as a society, not just individuals, I’d like to show a path for individual change that might highlight a larger path for us as a whole. This is a personal guide to overcoming the instant gratification to which we’ve all grown accustomed. Why? Yes, life is meant to be enjoyed, but perhaps not wasted. The first way is Instant Gratification: pleasurable food, the riches of the Internet, video games, TV, drink, online shopping … anything we want, anytime we want it.

Watch the urges. The Power of Delay. ‘The greatest remedy for anger is delay.’

The Power of Delay

~Thomas Paine By Leo Babauta I once had a boss who had a favorite strategy for dealing with donations-seekers, demanding colleagues, and basically anyone who wanted anything from him he was reluctant to give. Delay. For example, lots of people would come to our office seeking handouts, and he didn’t believe handouts were helpful. 40 Years of Stanford Research Found That People With This One Quality Are More Likely to Succeed. In the 1960s, a Stanford professor named Walter Mischel began conducting a series of important psychological studies.

40 Years of Stanford Research Found That People With This One Quality Are More Likely to Succeed

During his experiments, Mischel and his team tested hundreds of children — most of them around the ages of 4 and 5 years old — and revealed what is now believed to be one of the most important characteristics for success in health, work, and life. Let’s talk about what happened and, more importantly, how you can use it. Free Bonus: Want to become better at delaying gratification? I’ve created 3 great resources for you- my guide to getting started in just 2 minutes and my workbook for making any habit 1% better.

Plus, an adorable video of some kid participating in the marshmallow experiment. The Marshmallow Experiment The experiment began by bringing each child into a private room, sitting them down in a chair, and placing a marshmallow on the table in front of them. At this point, the researcher offered a deal to the child. The researcher left the room for 15 minutes. But…