What is Your ONE Thing?
One of the most important books I've read is The ONE Thing by Gary Keller. It's a little book and easy to read but despite that its message is not any less.
The basic premise is this: most people focus on too many things at once. They use their time to do menial tasks such as laundry, groceries, replying to emails, saying yes to all kinds of superfluous meetings, conferences, etc. And then they complain that they don't have the time to do their project or work.
Of course, they don't have the time if they spend it on all this crap.
The book tells you to focus on one thing at a time. You must put aside generous chunks of undistracted time to focus on your thing and postpone everything else. Don't check the email, don't do laundry, do your work - as this is what matters the most. You can always do the laundry at the end of the day with zero energy but you can't do your art and give your genius to the world if your brain is mush.
People often ask how successful people manage to do all these things. They don't! Nobody can do everything. What they do is focus just on one (or a maximum of two) things at the time and neglect everything else.
Steve Jobs said that "focus" means saying "no". Say "no" to people, ideas, meetings, and offers. This will mean that you'll have the time to say "yes" to the thing that matters - your ONE thing. You must protect your most valuable thing in this world - your time.
What is the ONE thing?
It's different for everyone. For someone it may be a painting, for others, it may be their book, a product, a business, spiritual practice, a family, a skill, or a side hustle...
Whatever it is for you, make it your priority and do it as early in the day as possible and purposefully neglect everything else. Neglect it! The world will not come to an end if you don't reply to some email.
Sometimes we have to let many small bad things happen for one good thing to arise.