Not another productivity post

“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the non-essentials.”  – Bruce Lee


The Minnie Mouse Teapot Challenge

minnie mouse teapot

When my youngest daughter Millie was three, she had a giant plastic toy teapot.

Inside, would you believe, housed a little tea service:  4 cups, 4 saucers, 4 spoons, a teapot, a sugar bowl, a milk jug and a little plastic cake.

You know what’s coming next, don’t you.

You had to place the larger items inside the teapot first and then arrange the smaller items around them.  Otherwise, you simply couldn’t fit everything in.

And much like any other three-year old, I’m sure, Millie didn’t care much for taking her time over expertly arranging those little items.

In fact, I’d often find any manner of things inside it –  marbles, ABC fridge magnets, crayons, sweets – you name it.   If the teapot could hold it, she’d cram it in.


Are you like that?  Trying to cram in absolutely everything into your day?

OK, you’re not a three-year old.

Here’s a grown-up analogy.

Stephen Covey’s ‘7 Big Rocks’


There’s never enough time to do everything.

There’s only enough time to do the more important things – to you.

And you can’t discern what’s more important to you, if you spend all day, everyday, reacting to everyone else’s agenda.  Or everyone else’s problems.

Something’s gotta give.


Align with purpose, the ‘why’


If you’re not sure which non-essentials you need to hack away at, here are three simple questions that I like to ask myself:


1.  What type of tasks MUST I do today?

2.  How do I want to feel while I’m doing them?

3.  How do I want to feel once I’m finished?


For me, the answers are:


1.  Intentional, purposeful, creative, profitable,

2.  Excited, motivated, driven,

3  Satisfied, fulfilled, ready for more.




If everything you do is aligned to your core values, then everything you do is worth doing.





I’m Mary Cummings, a ghostwriter, collaborator and all round word doctor. I help business owners write and publish business books; I'm also passionate about helping creative freelancers find work that they love - their work sweet spot with work on their terms, projects they love and clients who are a dream to work for.

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