Uh, hey Marie.
A little lady.
A little lady who?
I didn’t know you could yodel!
Hey, it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be to create a business and life you love. Now, I have a question for you. Do you ever have one of those days where it feels like you’re doing a ton of things but at the end of the day you didn’t get anything really important done? I can relate. That’s why today I want to show you a simple three-step method to making progress on your most important work while at the same time training your brain to be more focused.
You see, we’re living in a time when we are allowing our brains to be trained to underperform. We’ve become addicted to checking our phones. Right? To social media and all kinds of stuff. And in doing so we are reducing our ability to stay focused and do the deep, important work that we’re meant to do in this world.
Now, you’ve got to ask yourself. What do you want to say at the end of the day? “Yay! I’m a few emails closer to inbox zero and I clicked like on everybody’s posts?” Or do you want to say, “you know what? I did two hours of really great work on my book or my website or my painting.”
I mean, it’s a no brainer, right? Of course the latter. Now, what I’m about to suggest isn’t complicated and it is not time consuming. But it will require you to take back control of your time. Take back control of this beautiful brain and trust that your world will not immediately fall apart if you don’t immediately respond to every ding or every buzz or every question or every request. It’s just three simple steps and, I promise, if you use these three steps every single day you’ll not only get more important work done, but you’ll start breaking the destructive, addictive behaviors that are killing your brain and your happiness.
Step number one is do creative work first. Now, a big mistake that’s really easy to make in today’s world is to try and do all the little things and knock them out first. And then you have this fantasy that you’re going to have all this time for the big, important, creative work later in the afternoon. But have you ever noticed that this rarely friggin’ works? Am I right?
I mean, ain’t that the truth?
Did she bug my phone?
Here’s why trying to do all the little things first is a really terrible idea. Because when you wake up you have this full tank of cognitive fuel. But what many of us forget is that we only have a finite amount of this super powerful, cognitive fuel each and every day. And every single time that you make a decision or you resist temptation or exert any kind of self control, you start to drain your cognitive fuel tank. I want you to think about it kind of like this.
“Oh, should I answer this email or keep it as unread? Oh, God. Where should I make a reservation for dinner tonight? Dammit, gotta reschedule that doctor’s appointment. Oh, yeah. You know what? I really need a haircut too. Why is he texting me? Where’s that poo emoji? Wait. Heart emoji or poo emoji? Ugh, heart emoji. Oh, my goodness. Who is Miss Cranky Pants leaving me this bitchy comment on my Instagram? I knew I shouldn’t have looked at this. Do I fire one back or go high? You know what, Marie? Ignore it. Go high. Go high, girl.”
So you decide. Do you want to use that limited cognitive fuel on something really important and amazing? Or do you want to blow your daily wad on a bunch of dumb crap that doesn’t really matter?
Moving on. Step number two. Put your entire life on airplane mode. So don’t try and ignore your phone or ignore the emails or ignore the slack messages or whatever else that you have that dings and rings and pops up. That’s like me telling Kuma to ignore this slice of salami. Ain’t gonna happen.
Who can’t ignore the salami? Who can’t ignore the salami?
Remember what you just learned like two seconds ago about that cognitive fuel? Resisting temptation is one of the biggest cognitive fuel suckers. It’s practically a guzzler. You know what? It’s like the Hummer of brain fuel. So rather than resist temptation, just eliminate it. And that means you have to put your entire life on airplane mode.
Now, obviously turn off all the notifications. So close all the tabs, close all the windows, turn off the apps, and especially for your phone I suggest just turning the damn thing off. However, you’ve also gotta shut off some people too. And that means that you might have to tell your kids and your spouse and your coworkers that for the next two hours or one hour or three hours that you don’t exist. Kind of like this. See? Nobody here.
And then finally our favorite step is step number three: write a onesie. So wherever you’re working what I want you to do is remove everything from your sight. So make it super clean and super clear. So no books, no notebooks, no “to do” lists. Then here’s what I want you to do. I want you to take out just a blank piece of paper, something like this, and then just get a big, old magic marker and write the one task that you need to work on right now on this piece of paper. And we call this making a onesie.
You’re talking about something like this?
Oh, Jams. That’s amazing, but that’s not the kind of onesie that I’m trying to teach you guys about right here.
What about something like this?
Oh, Greg. That’s fierce. That’s a fierce onesie. But that’s not the kind of onesie. This onesie is just something a little bit different.
How about this?
Well, you know, maybe I can make an exception. This is a very special kind of onesie.
Now, when you are making your onesie you have to remember to verberize it. Now, if you don’t remember that episode it is below this one. But here’s the short version. Don’t just write “blog post.” That is too vague and it’s not actionable. That’s not a onesie. Instead you need to use a clear, directive verb like this: “finish the blog post.” Now this, my friends, is a onesie.
Onesie! Onesie! Onesie!
Yeah. And what you do when you have your onesie, you put it right next to you like this. Go there, little onesie. And then for the next 30 minutes or the next two hours or whatever, you stay totally focused on completing that one task. And any time you start acting like a digital crackhead looking around for something to click or double tap, the only thing you’re going to see is this big beautiful one task wonder: the onesie.
In fact, we believe so much in the power of the onesie that we felt like it deserved its own dance break.
And if you need a little reminder, rock on with this Tweetable:
“Be a rebel. Answer your creative dreams instead of your emails.”
Now I would love to hear from you. Let’s test drive your onesie right now. In the comments below, write that one task that you’re going to put on that one piece of paper. And remember to verberize it. And to my mom who writes everything in all caps all the time, I love you. This one is for you. I invite everybody to join my mama and put it on caps lock and write that onesie. Leave a comment below and let me know.
Now, as always, the best conversations happen at MarieForleo.com, so go over there and leave a comment now. Once you’re there be sure to subscribe to our email list and become an MF Insider. You’ll get instant access to a powerful audio training that I created called How To Get Anything You Want. And you’ll also get some exclusive content, some special giveaways, and personal updates from me that I just don’t share anywhere else.
Stay on your game and keep going for your dreams because the world needs that special gift that only you have. Thank you so much for watching and I’ll catch you next time on MarieTV.
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I had coffee!
What about this?
I’m gonna go home, Josh will be like what the f*** did you do at work today?
Please don’t fire me for touching it.