Variety is the spice of life so the saying goes. Variety can also become a distraction all by itself.
We chase variety because it somehow feels good, it feels productive. We chase variety because it’s what we think we should be doing. We think we need to cover all bases.
The Darker Side of Variety
The truth is, variety can often just take us further from getting a thing done.
It can lead to a slippery slope of multi-tasking. plate spinning and chasing our tail. We are constantly distracted by the shiny and new and avoid committing to any singular path long enough to reap rewards.
A path that meanders doesn’t necessarily represent the quickest route to where we want to get to.
What Variety Is Good For
Variety is great when we become stale and need a change. A change of scenery or a change of focus can often reinvigorate us on some level. New stimulus. Old problems find a solution. Well-worn habits and tasks can feel fresh again through an altered lens.
Variety for variety’s sake is not always so good and can just be a way of distracting ourselves from what matters most.
Spread Your Focus Thin or Concentrate Effort
In an age where distractions are more plentiful than ever, many of us end up spreading ourselves wide but never really to any depth. The irony is, digging deep and concentrating effort is where the champions roam.
The best of the best and elite performers in all areas of life often have a deep appreciation, and even love of, routine. Focused effort on a few key areas while avoiding unnecessary distraction is often the bedrock of success. In 80/20 speak this is what we call focusing on the vital few at the expense of the trivial many.
Consistency, turning up again and again and really committing to something is the language of those that succeed. It’s not always as exciting as chasing the new but if results are what we seek then the clues are clear to see, if we look closely.
Focus and Dig Deep
Reconnecting with our ability to narrow our aim and dig deeper becomes ever more important in a world where distracted is so commonplace. Embracing quality over quantity and depth over width, we can carve a clearer path to our goals.
If we want more efficient results from our time and efforts, chasing variety is not always the way to get there. Dig deep and focus.
Carl is the author of several short books full of big ideas including: Need Less, Live More and Slow: Seeking Stillness in Fast Paced Times. He is also the proud owner of Frictionless Living which is focused on helping readers simplify life and find clarity in a distracted world.