There’s something to be said for saying “yes” to things. You never know what potential opportunities there are in saying “yes” to an extra project at work or volunteering your time somewhere. However, there’s a problem with this too: You can stretch yourself too thin.
Over at Afford Anything, personal finance writer Paula Pant talks about “any benefit” mentality: The idea that you should pursue every possible activity or connection because “you never know where it might lead”. She writes:
How often have you heard this advice?
- Go to every networking event on the planet!
- Jump on every new social media platform!
- Hand out your business card to everyone!
- Reply to every email/tweet/message/comment that comes through!
The justification is always the same: “You never know where it might lead.” Let’s rephrase that, shall we? “You never know” is a euphemism for, “this might perhaps possibly potentially offer a tiny theoretical incidental incremental benefit. Maybe.” Wow. What a barometer.
Whatever your goal, ultimately, you want results, and that can be hard if you spread yourself too thin. It helps to be more discerning when you say “yes” to things. Pant suggests getting clear on what your goals are, specifically, then using them as a barometer. From there, prioritise the activities that are mostly likely to yield better results. This is obvious enough; the problem is, we tend to get distracted.
…the potential for any benefit is not a sufficient reason to devote yourself to an activity. You’re not looking for any benefit, you’re looking for 10x results… As you get closer to your goals, you’ll find fun, easy distractions along the way. They will sing the siren call of sunshine and short-term wins. They’re tempting. But they’re distractions. Don’t say “yes” to everything. Forget about chasing ‘any benefit.’ Focus on the few actions that will fast-track your results.
This serves as a good reminder that saying “yes” is great, but saying “yes” to everything can keep you from moving forward. To read more of what Pant has to say, head to the link below.
The Incredible Power of 10x Thinking [Afford Anything]