The Only Question You Need To Ask Yourself To Have A Productive Year

Take the opposite approach to adding more to your life

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Welcome to 2017 — a year where you’ve made resolutions to not only find your dream job, but to also take on a side gig, start journaling, and, oh yeah, exercise daily.

That’s a heck of a lot to pile onto your already busy schedule. (Remember those other things you were doing in 2016? Yeah, those haven’t gone away.)

So instead of adding more to your life, why not take the opposite approach? Johnson Kee suggests in a recent Medium article that asking yourself this one question makes all the difference when accomplishing your yearly goals:

“What can I subtract from my life that would make it simpler?”

Just think — if you want to get promoted this year, what could you give up to make that easier for yourself? Maybe that means cutting down on how much time you spend on social media in the office, or maybe it means trading that TV show you’re currently binging for an online class, or cutting one happy hour for a career coaching session.

Or, it may mean cutting one resolution for a more important one. Let’s say, for example, you want to learn to play the guitar and change careers this year. Not to say you can’t learn to play guitar eventually, but if you’re not happy in your current job, it may need to take a back seat until you find yourself in a position you love (and with more positive energy to tackle a new hobby).

Ultimately, subtracting and decluttering your to-dos leads to getting more done (I’m no mathematician, but I promise you this math checks out). As Kee states, “[M]y greatest change has come from doing less. It means that whatever I am doing, I do it better.”

If you start your year asking yourself this question, you’ll set yourself up to accomplish all your goals with pride and a worthwhile effort.

Originally published at on January 3, 2017.

Originally published at

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