I can only do 7 things at once #7Things

Until the scienticians figure out how to delete the need to sleep, insert more hours into the day, or  bestow super-speed, we need to effectively manage our time and our energy – lest the important things  get away from us.

Time is the ultimate scarce resource so a few years back I come up with a very simple  way to ensure the most important things in my life get the attention they deserve.
I’ve trimmed my life to 7 things. 7 things that I devote 99% of my time to. Just 7.

Here’s how I break it  down:


Professional development

Nov 18, 2014

As I’m relatively new to my new job, I give time to learning and training in this new field.



Nov 18, 2014

If my relationship with my wife, Colleen, doesn’t work none of the remaining 6 work



Nov 18, 2014

my son’s support and development is critical.



Nov 18, 2014

thinking deeply about the big questions in life.



Nov 18, 2014

of course many of us need to participate and advance in our day jobs.



Nov 18, 2014

I can maintain solid friendships with only a few people. This requires a block of my time.



Nov 18, 2014

I enjoy watercolour painting so I try to spend time each week creating.

Only a couple of these can be considered discretionary. The rest are solidly in a regular rhythm of my life. I move time and attention to one opportunity or another based on needs, but this is it. This is my  simple matrix for saying yes to the right things and no to the wrong things.

Every now and then I add an 8th thing like working out, volunteering for a cause, or working on a project  but I do it intentionally. I know that adding another thing steals time from one and likely all of the other  elements in my life.

Finally, know that this doesn’t mean I can’t be impulsive, flexible or even reactionary (just ask my wife).

It just means that I’ve predetermined what are the most important things to me and how I invest in  them each is a joy. I often combine several of them (wife, son and painting or friend and faith) in order  to liberate time.

What would your 7 things be? Can you pull off more? How do you manage your time an energy?
Brian McKenzie is a 15 year marketing professional, father, husband and artist. Check him out on  LinkedIn.


I’ve know Brian for several years. We met the other day and he shared his 7 things model. I’ve been thinking about this and also how we adopt ideas, how we change, how we prioritize, and how even when we think we want to change, we actually stand still.

I asked Brian to write this post to share his model.

What’s on your list? Is this years list different than last? What’s on your 7 things list for 2015? Do share.

NIck Kellet (130 Posts)

Nick’s ventures range from a visual segmentation tool sold to SAP, to an award winning board game. Today, Nick is co-founder of Listly, raising the profile of lists to be on par with Slideshare & YouTube.