What can one minute do?

I wear contacts. I’ve worn them since I was in junior high. (Contacts really help when you’re legally blind!)

But lately, wearing contacts has not been so peachy.

I put them in in the morning and by noon I’m scratching my eyes constantly, tugging at the corners of my eyes, digging for fuzzies, dried proteins and other crud.

This is especially worrisome because I lack a crucial immune-protein that protects my eyes and nose from viral and bacterial invaders. So touching my eyes is especially threatening to my health.

It became such a problem, that I decided to read the instructions on my contact solution.

  1. Rinse both sides of contact lens
  2. Rub lens in hand for 20 seconds
  3. Rinse lens for 5 seconds

So, for the past week, I’ve followed the directions to a T.

I haven’t scratched my eyes once.

Which means I don’t touch my eyes. Which means my eyes don’t get sore. Which means my contacts last longer. Which saves money. Which means I’m less prone to getting sick, which improves sleep, productivity, and ultimately improves the impact I’m here to make on this world.

All because of the tiniest behavior—rubbing off my damn contacts! It adds an extra minute to my day.

Creative, ambitious people often believe that to achieve more, you must do more. More reps, more emails, more hours, more effort.

But there is something to be said about doing less. Making small but powerful changes then listening to the feedback. (Or subtracting behavior and noise from our lives.)

Why? 

Certain activities have greater impact than others. Cleaning my contacts was a small activity whose impact rippled out and profoundly affected my health. There are infinite ways for me to up my immunity—juicing, supplements, hand sanitizer, and OCD. But this one activity was small, cheap, and powerful.

What is one thing that if you added to your daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly schedule would make an incredible difference in the impact you’re here to make?

There’s a good chance it’s sitting right in front you. It’s that activity that you say quietly to yourself, “Boy, I should really do this every day/week!” That activity that you do once a season, then stop without ever developing the habit.

5 minutes of mediation or prayer? Cutting caffeine? Putting blackout shades over your windows? Flossing? Walking with your significant other? Checking email only once per day? Journaling? Automating your household bills?

Really, take a moment to think about it.

Then do something about it!

It could make all the difference, both to you, and to the good you’re here to do.

Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition. —W. H. Auden