During my first six years of leading executive peer groups, several themes have consistently arisen.

One frequent theme I hear from CEOs, business owners owners and key executives: I’m working too much, jeopardizing my family, my health, my health and — ironically (because too much work can be counter-productive), even my business. 

How does this happen?

Here’s one small, but frequent way 
people overwork: one more thing.
When I do it, it sounds like me, saying to myself: “I’m just going to do one more thing.”

Often, I’m sitting in front of my computer — at my desk, or in a coffee shop — or with my smartphone in hand, and I finish the task at hand. I glance at the clock and I know that I’ve done enough, and I have a place to go, a man to see about a horse, and I suddenly develop a case of Butt Glue. I don’t move. I think, “I’m just going to do one more thing.”

  • I look at my To Do List and start to tackle one more thing.
  • I visit my inbox and start to reply to one more thing.
  • I check my calendar and start to fiddle with the future.

Or I open a new box, fresh from Pandora (the first woman on earth according to Greek mythology, not the music service):

  • I check the news. (Here’s how that’s going.)
  • I check social media. (I check to see if anyone commented on my recent post. More on this at the end.)
  • I check my photostream to delete duplicate photographs.

What Would Happen If I Didn’t
Do One More Thing?
Here are the things that might wait for another day:

  • Responding to folks who are waiting for replies that might be important to them, but aren’t essential to me.
  • Emptying the inbox.
  • Getting caught up on my essential email. (I think I’ll do that now. I like to live at Inbox Zero.)
  • Write a poem.
  • Prepare for something that can wait.
  • See what payments have cleared my checking account.
  • Check on the national buffoonery.

Oh, and this would happen today and now:

But first, one more thing.

Nope. Not one more thing.

What A Coincidence!
As I’m typing this, without my telling him this topic, Matt Slaybaugh, my friend, creative mentor, and human writing prompt, says, “I edited the apps on my iPhone to make it a Distraction Free iPhone.” What a coincidence! He didn’t know my topic today. I’m going to do the same now.

One More Thought:
A Catalyst For Not Doing One More Thing.

Here’s what sparked me to cut my social media consumption to nearly zero.

Acacia Duncan, a coaching co-mentor, friend, and creative role model, said, “I noticed I was constantly checking whether people had commented on my Facebook posts.”

Ouch. I was doing that compulsively. I abruptly ending that grind — and recovered so much of my life.